Disaster Preparation


Do you know what to pack for your pet in the event of a disaster?

Our pets enrich our lives in more ways than we can count. In turn, they depend on us for their safety and well-being. Here’s how you can be even more prepared to protect your pets when disaster strikes.

Public Shelters –

Pets are NOT permitted in public shelters so make advance preparations to ensure their safety. Being prepared can save their lives. Be sure to evacuate your pets too when you are forced to evacuate. Leaving pets behind, even if you try to create a safe place for them, is likely to result in their being injured, lost or worse.

Cumulative Layout Shift –

Determine the safest place in your home for you and your pet(s), away from windows and breakable objects. Make advance arrangements with someone who may live in a safer area or more suitable structure should you have to evacuate your home.

Pet Carriers –

Make sure you have one pet carrier for each pet. The carrier should be large enough for your pet to stand up and turn around inside. Make sure your pet is familiar with the carrier ahead of time. It should be a source of comfort, not additional stress.

Proper Identification –

Make sure your pet(s) have proper identification. An ID tag on a properly fitted collar is essential, but can also be lost. Make sure your pet(s) has some sort of permanent identification, like a tattoo or microchip.

Pictures –

Take some good pictures of your pet(s) and keep them current. They should show any distinguishing markings; if you and your pet(s) become separated, these photographs will help identify him/her.

Vaccinations –

Keep your pet’s vaccination up-to-date and have the records handy.

Kennels – 

Check ahead with boarding kennels. Make a list for easy reference and determine if they meet your standards. If you use a pet-sitting service, they may be available to help, but discuss the possibility well in advance.

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Supplies –

Stock up on pet food (dry food that won’t spoil stored in water-tight containers, kitty litter, newspapers, plastic bags and cleaners to handle pet wastes. Have sturdy water containers on hand that will not spill. Your pet(s) will need a safe water supply as well, so make sure you include them when you stock up on bottled water. Make sure you have an adequate supply of any medication your pet(s) made need. At least one weeks supply.


Whether you are away from home for a day or a week, you’ll need essential supplies. Keep items in an accessible place and store them in sturdy containers that can be carried easily. Your pet disaster supplies kit should include:

  • • A first aid kit for pets, including any special medications.
  • • Sturdy leashes, harnesses, and/or carriers to transport pets safely and ensure that your animals cannot escape.
  • • Current photos of your pet(s).
  • • Several weeks supply of dry type food in a water proof container.
  • • Non-spill food and water bowls.
  • • Non-breakable water storage containers with (minimum) 3 days supply of water.
  • • Newspaper, plastic bags, cleansers and paper towels. Information on feeding schedules, medical conditions, behaviour problems, and the name and number of your veterinarian in case you have to foster or board your pet(s).


Often warnings are issued hours, even days, in advance. At first hint of disaster, act to protect your pet. Call ahead to confirm emergency shelter arrangements for you and your pet(s). Check to be sure your pet’s disaster kit is ready to go. Bring all pets into the house so that you won’t have to search for them if you have to leave in a hurry. Make sure all dogs and cats are wearing collars, are securely fastened and have up-to-date identification. You may not be home when the evacuation order comes. Find out if a trusted neighbor would be willing to take your pets and meet you at a prearranged location. Make sure this person is comfortable with your pets, knows where the supplies are and has a key to your home. Bear in mind, animals react differently under stress. Outside your home, keep dogs securely leashed and transport cats in carriers. The most trusted pets may panic, hide, try to escape or even bite or scratch.


Birds should be transported in a secure travel cage or carrier. For colder weather, wrap a blanket around the carrier. During warm weather, carry a mister to mist the birds feathers. Do not put water in the carrier for transport. Provide a few slices of fruit or veggies with a high water content. Do not let the bird(s) out of the carrier.


Be extra careful when letting your pet loose outdoors as familiar scents and landmarks may have been altered causing your pet(s) to become confused and possibly lost. In addition, other dangers may be nearby including downed power lines and debris. If your pet(s) becomes lost, call and visit the Humane Society, as soon as possible.