#NPM2023 Week 2: Pet and Animal Preparedness

Happy woman playing with dog on sofa at home.Dog licking middle-aged woman in living room

Pets are important family members. Unfortunately, animals are also affected by disasters. Have an emergency backup plan in case you are unable to care for the animal yourself. Build a buddy system with neighbors, friends, and relatives so you have someone to care for your pet if you are unable to do so. If you evacuate your home, don’t leave your pets behind. As a pet owner, it’s important to find out what types of shelters and assistance are available to house your pet in your area and include them in your disaster plan to keep your pet safe in the event of an emergency. It’s a responsibility.

What you need to know about preparing for your pet

  • Include pets in your emergency plan.
  • Create a separate emergency kit for your pet.
  • Be sure to keep digital records or photos that can identify your pet in case you become separated after a disaster.
  • Make a list of places that will accept your pet in case of an emergency.

Make an emergency plan for your pet

  • We will issue your pet’s ID. Make sure your pet’s tags are up to date and securely attached to your pet’s collar. If possible, please include the evacuation address and phone number. If your pet gets lost, your pet’s tag is your ticket home. You may also consider microchipping your pet.
  • Be sure to have a current photo and description of your pet for identification.
  • Create a pet emergency kit.
    • 5 gallons of water per pet and enough food and medicine for at least 3 days
    • medicine
    • Vaccinations and medical records
    • manual can opener
    • Arrangement of tableware
    • First aid kit and other essentials
    • pet toys, bedding, etc.
  • Identify shelter. For public health reasons, many emergency shelters are unable to accept pets. Before you need your pet, research motels and hotels in your evacuation area that allow pets. There are also many guides that list pet-friendly hotels and motels, which can be a good starting point. Include the number of your local animal shelter on your list of emergency numbers.
  • Make sure you have a safe carrier, leash, and harness for your pet so it can’t escape if it panics.
  • Call your local emergency management office, animal shelter, or animal control office for advice and information.
  • If you are unable to return home immediately, your pet may be allowed to accompany you. Find out where pet boarding facilities are located. Be sure to look into facilities outside your local area in case your local facility closes.
  • Some animal shelters offer temporary foster homes for pets during disasters, but this should only be considered as a last resort.
  • If you have no choice but to leave your pet at home, you should take some precautions, but remember that leaving your pet home alone can put the animal at great risk. Keep your pet indoors and in a safe place – I never have Leave your pet outside on a leash! Leave them indoors with food and plenty of water. Remove the lid from the toilet tank, raise the toilet seat, and open the toilet door firmly so you can drink water. Place a sign in a visible location outdoors that lets people know what pets are in your home and where they are located. Please enter a phone number where you or your contact can be reached, and the name and phone number of your veterinarian.

Tips for large animals

If you have large animals on your property, such as horses, cows, sheep, goats, or pigs, be sure to prepare for disaster before it happens.

  • Make sure all animals have some form of identification.
  • Evacuate the animal if possible. Plan your primary and secondary routes in advance.
  • We make available the vehicles and trailers needed to transport and support each type of animal. We also provide experienced handlers and drivers. Note: It is best to give the animal a chance to get used to moving around in a vehicle so that it is easier for the animal to move without fear.
  • Make sure your destination has food, water, veterinary care, and handling facilities.
  • If evacuation is not possible, the animal owner must decide whether to move the large animal to a shelter or banish it outdoors.

Training opportunities:

Additional resources:

Ready.gov – Pet Disaster Preparedness Brochure

Animal poison control

Pet First Aid Mobile App

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