Animal disaster preparedness Edit

ICE In Case of Emergency Edit

  • Carry information for yourself, family and pets in case of emergency and you are incapacitated.
    • Cell phone ICE numbers for you and your pets [1][2]
    • Wallet ICE cards for you and your pets [3]
    • ICE information is especially need for relief workers in the field

ACT Recommendations for disaster preparedness Edit

Step 1. Get a Rescue Alert Sticker Edit

This easy-to-use sticker will let people know that pets are inside your home, and are sold for pennies at most pet stores. Make sure it is visible to rescue workers, and that it includes the following information:

  1. The types and numbers of pets in your household
  2. The name of your veterinarian
  3. Your veterinarian’s phone number and address

If you do evacuate with your pets, and IF time allows, write “EVACUATED” across the sticker.

Step 2. Arrange a Safe Haven Edit

Arrange a safe haven for your pets in the event of evacuation. DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND!! Remember, if it isn’t safe for you, it isn’t safe for your pets. They may become trapped or escape and be exposed to numerous life-threatening hazards. PLEASE NOTE: Red Cross disaster shelters will NOT accept pets because of health and safety regulations, so it is imperative that you have determined where you will bring your pets ahead of time:

  1. Contact your veterinarian for a list of preferred boarding kennels and facilities
  2. Ask your local animal shelter if they provide emergency shelter or foster care for pets
  3. Identify hotels or motels outside of your immediate area that accept pets
  4. Ask friends and relatives outside your immediate area if they would be willing to take in your pet

Step 3. Emergency Supplies and Traveling Kits Edit

Keep an Evac-Pack and supplies handy for your pets. Make sure that everyone in the family knows where it is. This kit should be CLEARLY labeled and easy to carry. Items to consider keeping in or near your pack include:

  1. Pet first aid kit and guide book (ask your vet what to include, or visit the ASPCA store online to buy one ready made
  2. 3-7 days’ worth of canned (pop-top) or dry food (be sure to rotate every 2 months)
  3. Disposable litter trays (aluminum roasting pans are perfect)
  4. Litter or paper toweling
  5. Liquid dish soap and disinfectant
  6. Disposable garbage bags for clean-up
  7. Pet feeding dishes
  8. Extra harness and leash (note: harnesses are recommended for safety and security)
  9. Photocopies of medical records and a waterproof container with a 2 week supply of any medicine your pet requires (remember, food and medications need to be rotated out of your emergency kit— otherwise they may go bad or become useless)
  10. Bottled water, at least 7 days’ worth for each person and pet (store in a cool, dry place, and replace every 2 months)
  11. A traveling bag, crate or sturdy carrier, ideally one for each pet
  12. Flashlight
  13. Blanket (for scooping up a fearful pet)
  14. Recent photos of your pets (in case you are separated and need to make “lost” posters)
  15. Especially for cats : Pillowcase or EvackSack, toys, scoopable litter
  16. Especially for dogs : Long leash and yard stake, toys and chew toys, a week’s worth of cage liners)

You should also have an emergency kit for the human members of the family. Items to include: Batteries, duct tape, flashlight, radio, multi-tool, tarp, rope, permanent marker, spray paint, baby wipes, protective clothing and footwear, extra cash, rescue whistle, important phone numbers, extra medications, and copies of medical and insurance information.

Step 4. Choose “Designated Caregivers” Edit

This step will take considerable time and thought. When choosing a temporary caregiver, consider someone who lives close to your residence. He or she should be someone who is generally home during the day while you are at work, or has easy access to your home. A set of keys should be given to this trusted individual. This may work well with neighbors who have pets of their own—you may even swap responsibilities, depending upon who has accessibility.

When selecting a permanent caregiver, you’ll need to consider other criteria. This is a person to whom you are entrusting the care of your pet in the event that something should happen to you. When selecting this “foster parent,” consider people who have met your pet, and have successfully cared for animals in the past. Be sure to discuss your expectations at length with a permanent caregiver, so he or she understands the responsibility of caring for your pet.

Additionally, you will want to provide a trust for your pet’s financial future. Unlike a will, a trust provides for your pet immediately, and will apply not only if you die, but if you become disabled. You may designate your permanent caregiver as the trustee, or choose a separate person to be the trustee of the funds that you have set aside for you pet’s care.

Contact your attorney or the ASPCA at (212) 876-7700, ext. 4554 for more information on trusts, wills, and how much money to set aside for your pet’s needs in the event you are unable to care for them.

Step 5. Evacuation Preparation Edit

If you must evacuate your home in a crisis, plan for the worst-case scenario. If you think you may be gone for only a day, assume that you may not be allowed to return for several weeks. When recommendations for evacuation have been announced, follow the instructions of local and state officials. To minimize evacuation time, take these simple steps:

  1. Store an emergency kit and leashes as close to an exit as possible
  2. Make sure all pets wear collars with up-to-date identification. Your pet’s ID tag should contain his name, telephone number, and any urgent medical needs. Be sure to write your pet’s name, your name, and contact information on your pet’s carrier
  3. The ASPCA recommends microchipping your pet as a more permanent form of identification. A microchip is implanted in the animal’s shoulder area, and can be read by scanner at most animal shelters
  4. Always bring pets indoors at the first sign or warning of a storm or disaster. Pets can become disoriented, and wander away from home during a crisis
  5. Consider your evacuation route, and call ahead to make arrangements for boarding your pet outside of the danger zone at the first sign of disaster

Step 6. Geographic and Climatic Considerations Edit

Do you live in an area that is prone to certain natural catastrophes, such as tornadoes, earthquakes, or floods? If so, you should plan accordingly:

  1. Determine well in advance which rooms offer safe havens. These rooms should be clear of hazards such as windows, flying debris, etc.
  2. Choose easy-to-clean areas such as utility rooms, bathrooms, and basements as safe zones
  3. Access to a supply of fresh water is particularly important. In areas that may lose electricity, fill up bathtubs and sinks ahead of time, to ensure that you have access to water during a power outage or other crises.
  4. In the event of flooding, go to the highest location in your home, or a room that has access to counters or high shelves where your animals can take shelter.

If emergency officials recommend that you stay in your home, it’s crucial that you keep your pets with you. Keep your Evac-Pack and supplies close at hand. Pets may become stressed during in-house confinement, so you may want to consider crating them for safety and comfort.

Special Considerations for Birds Edit

  1. Birds should be transported in a secure travel cage or carrier
  2. In cold weather, make certain you have a blanket over your pet’s cage. This may also help reduce the stress of traveling
  3. In warm weather, carry a spray bottle to periodically moisten your bird’s feathers
  4. Have recent photos available, and keep your birds leg bands on for identification
  5. If the carrier does not have a perch, line it with paper towels that you can change frequently
  6. Keep the carrier in as quiet an area as possible
  7. It is particularly imperative that birds eat on a daily basis, so purchase a timed feeder. If you need to leave your bird unexpectedly, the feeder will ensure his daily feeding schedule
  8. Items to keep on hand: Catch net, heavy towel, blanket or sheet to cover cage, cage liner

Special Considerations for Reptiles Edit

  1. A snake maybe transported in a pillowcase, but you should have permanent and secure housing for him when you reach a safe place
  2. Take a sturdy bowl that is large for your pet to soak in. It’s also a good idea to bring along a heating pad or other warming device, such as a hot water bottle. Lizards can be transported like birds (see above)

Special Considerations for Small Animals Edit

  1. Small animals, such as hamsters, gerbils, mice and guinea pigs, should be transported in secure carriers with bedding materials, food and food bowls
  2. Items to keep on hand: Salt lick, extra water bottle, small hidebox or tube, a week’s worth of bedding

Updated May 25, 2006

HSUS recommendations for family disaster plan Edit

In the interest of protecting pets, the Humane Society of the United States offers these tips for inclusion in your family disaster plan:

  • Do not leave your pets behind.
  • Securely fasten a current identification tag to your pet's collar and carry a photograph of your pet. It's important to include the phone number of a friend or family member on the tag so anyone who may find your pet is able to reach someone who knows you. (see Animal identification)
  • Transport pets in secure pet carriers and keep pets on leashes or harnesses.
  • Call hotels in a safe/host location and ask if you can bring your pets. Ask the manager if a no-pet policy can be lifted during the disaster. Most emergency shelters do not admit pets. (see Pet friendly)
  • Call friends, family members, veterinarians or boarding kennels in a safe/host location to arrange foster care if you and your pets cannot stay together.
  • Pack a week's supply of food, water and other provisions, such as medication or cat litter.
  • Do not wait until the last minute to evacuate. Rescue officials may not allow you to take your pets if you need to be rescued.
  • Keep a list of emergency phone numbers (veterinarian, local animal control, animal shelters, Red Cross, etc.). recommendations for emergency preparedness Edit

Intro Edit

Preparing Your Pets for Emergencies Makes Sense. Get Ready Now.

If you are like millions of animal owners nationwide, your pet is an important member of your household. The likelihood that you and your animals will survive an emergency such as a fire or flood, tornado or terrorist attack depends largely on emergency planning done today. Some of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as assembling an animal emergency supply kit and developing a pet care buddy system, are the same for any emergency. Whether you decide to stay put in an emergency or evacuate to a safer location, you will need to make plans in advance for your pets. Keep in mind that what's best for you is typically what's best for your animals.

If you must evacuate, take your pets with you if possible. However, if you are going to a public shelter, it is important to understand that animals may not be allowed inside. Plan in advance for shelter alternatives that will work for both you and your pets.

Make a backup emergency plan in case you can't care for your animals yourself. Develop a buddy system with neighbors, friends and relatives to make sure that someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so. Be prepared to improvise and use what you have on hand to make it on your own for at least three days, maybe longer.

Preparing for the unexpected makes sense. Get Ready Now.

This information was developed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in consultation with: American Kennel Club, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, American Veterinary Medical Association, and The Humane Society of the U.S.

Prepare - Get a Pet Emergency Supply Kit. Edit

Just as you do with your family's emergency supply kit, think first about the basics for survival, particularly food and water. Consider two kits. In one, put everything you and your pets will need to stay where you are. The other should be a lightweight, smaller version you can take with you if you and your pets have to get away. Plus, be sure to review your kits regularly to ensure that their contents, especially foods and medicines, are fresh.

Food. Keep at least three days of food in an airtight, waterproof container.

Water. Store at least three days of water specifically for your pets in addition to water you need for yourself and your family.

Medicines and medical records. Keep an extra supply of medicines your pet takes on a regular basis in a waterproof container.

First aid kit. Talk to your veterinarian about what is most appropriate for your pet's emergency medical needs. Most kits should include cotton bandage rolls, bandage tape and scissors; antibiotic ointment; flea and tick prevention; latex gloves, isopropyl alcohol and saline solution. Include a pet first aid reference book.

Collar with ID tag, harness or leash. Your pet should wear a collar with its rabies tag and identification at all times. Include a backup leash, collar and ID tag in your pet's emergency supply kit. In addition, place copies of your pet's registration information, adoption papers, vaccination documents and medical records in a clean plastic bag or waterproof container and also add them to your kit. You should also consider talking with your veterinarian about permanent identification such as micro chipping, and enrolling your pet in a recovery database.

Crate or other pet carrier. If you need to evacuate in an emergency situation take your pets and animals with you provided that it is practical to do so. In many cases, your ability to do so will be aided by having a sturdy, safe, comfortable crate or carrier ready for transporting your pet. The carrier should be large enough for your pet to stand, turn around and lie down.

Sanitation. Include pet litter and litter box if appropriate, newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags and household chlorine bleach to provide for your pet's sanitation needs. You can use bleach as a disinfectant (dilute nine parts water to one part bleach), or in an emergency you can also use it to purify water. Use 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented or color safe bleaches, or those with added cleaners.

A picture of you and your pet together. If you become separated from your pet during an emergency, a picture of you and your pet together will help you document ownership and allow others to assist you in identifying your pet. Include detailed information about species, breed, age, sex, color and distinguishing characteristics.

Familiar items. Put favorite toys, treats or bedding in your kit. Familiar items can help reduce stress for your pet.

Plan - What You Will Do in an Emergency. Edit

Be prepared to assess the situation. Use whatever you have on hand to take care of yourself and ensure your pet's safety during an emergency. Depending on your circumstances and the nature of the emergency the first important decision is whether you stay put or get away. You should understand and plan for both possibilities. Use common sense and the information you are learning here to determine if there is immediate danger.

In any emergency, local authorities may or may not immediately be able to provide information on what is happening and what you should do. However, watch TV, listen to the radio or check the Internet for instructions. If you're specifically told to evacuate, shelter-in-place or seek medical treatment, do so immediately.

Create a plan to get away. Plan how you will assemble your pets and anticipate where you will go. If you must evacuate, take your pets with you if practical. If you go to a public shelter, keep in mind your animals may not be allowed inside. Secure appropriate lodging in advance depending on the number and type of animals in your care. Consider family or friends willing to take in you and your pets in an emergency. Other options may include: a hotel or motel that takes pets or a boarding facility, such as a kennel or veterinary hospital that is near an evacuation facility or your family's meeting place. Find out before an emergency happens if any of these facilities in your area might be viable options for you and your pets.

Develop a buddy system. Plan with neighbors, friends or relatives to make sure that someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so. Talk with your pet care buddy about your evacuation plans and show them where you keep your pet's emergency supply kit. Also designate specific locations, one in your immediate neighborhood and another farther away, where you will meet in an emergency.

Talk to your pet's veterinarian about emergency planning. Discuss the types of things that you should include in your pet's emergency first aid kit. Get the names of vets or veterinary hospitals in other cities where you might need to seek temporary shelter. You should also consider talking with your veterinarian about permanent identification such as micro chipping, and enrolling your pet in a recovery database. If your pet is micro chipped, keeping your emergency contact information up to date and listed with a reliable recovery database is essential to your being reunited with your pet.

Gather contact information for emergency animal treatment. Make a list of contact information and addresses of area animal control agencies including the Humane Society or SPCA, and emergency veterinary hospitals. Keep one copy of these phone numbers with you and one in your pet's emergency supply kit. Obtain "Pets Inside" stickers and place them on your doors or windows, including information on the number and types of pets in your home to alert fire fighters and rescue workers. Consider putting a phone number on the sticker where you could be reached in an emergency. And, if time permits, remember to write the words "Evacuated with Pets" across the stickers, should you flee with your pets.

Stay Informed - Know About Types of Emergencies Edit

Some of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as assembling an emergency supply kit for yourself, your family and your pets, is the same regardless of the type of emergency. However, it's important to stay informed about what might happen and know what types of emergencies are likely to affect your region as well as emergency plans that have been established by your state and local government. For more information about how to prepare, visit or call 1-800-BE-READY.

Summary Edit

Be prepared to adapt this information to your personal circumstances and make every effort to follow instructions received from authorities on the scene. With these simple preparations, you can be ready for the unexpected. Those who take the time to prepare themselves and their pets will likely encounter less difficulty, stress and worry. Take the time now to get yourself and your pet ready.

Preparing for Your Pets Makes Sense. Get Ready Now.

See also Edit

Internal links Edit

External links Edit

See also: Training#External links

  • BEFORE THE STORM: Prepare ahead for safety and comfort of your pet
  • Hurricane Evacuation articles
    • Emergency Preparedness For Birds
    • Animals and Public Shelters
    • Animals and Disasters
    • Evacuation and People
    • Disaster Preparedness for Veterinary Practices
    • Guide to Preparing for Emergencies
    • Protect Your Pet From Disaster
    • What To Do
    • You and Your Pet: Preparing for Emergencies
  • Disaster List for Pet-owning Households
  • Pet Sitter Instructions
  • Pet Survival Plan
  • Reciprocal Pet Fostering Agreement
  • Pet-friendly lodging links

Categories Edit