Animals in Disaster

Dog Image

The best way to protect your family from the effects of a disaster is to have a disaster plan. If you are a pet owner, your plan and provisions should include your pets. It may be difficult, if not impossible, to find shelter for your animals in the midst of a disaster; so plan ahead.

Ask friends, relatives, or others outside the affected area whether they could shelter your animals if needed in an emergency. If you have more than one pet, they may be more comfortable if kept together; but be prepared to house them separately.

Contact hotels and motels outside your immediate area to check policies on accepting pets and restrictions on number, size, and species. Ask if “no pet” policies could be waived in an emergency. Keep a list of “pet friendly” places, including phone numbers with other disaster information and supplies. If you have notice of an impending disaster, call ahead for reservations.

Prepare a list of boarding facilities and veterinarians who could shelter animals in an emergency. Include 24-hour phone numbers.

Include pet supplies as part of your 5-day kit.

• Portable carrier for each pet - of the appropriate size & design for your pets
• Food and water bowls
• Five day supply of food and water, stored in labeled plastic bottles
• Litter and litter box for cats
• Medications
• First aid kit
• Health records, including vaccination records
• Instructions on your pet’s feeding schedule and diet, medications, and any special needs
• Leashes, collars with identification tags
• Complete contact information for you

Bring your pets inside immediately. Animals have instincts about severe weather changes and will often isolate themselves if they are afraid. Bringing them inside early can keep them from running away. NEVER LEAVE A PET OUTSIDE OR TIED UP DURING A STORM!

If you have no alternative but to leave your pet at home, there are some precautions you must take; but remember that leaving your pet at home alone could also place your animal in danger. Confine your pet to a safe area inside. Place a notice outside in a visible area, advising what pets are in the house and where they are located. Provide a phone number where you or a contact can be reached as well as the name and number of your vet. In some, short duration emergency situations, being left with appropriate supplies in familiar and safe surroundings can be easier on your pet.

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