Pet owners have an interest in keeping their animal safe, but sometimes we don’t think to plan for the worst. How would you handle taking care of your pet during an unexpected flash flood or hurricane?

Anything can happen at any moment and we need to prepare ourselves and the furry little members of our family. In an emergency, our pets will become solely dependent on us for their safety than ever before and we need to live up to the responsibility of being a pet guardian.

3 Tips to Keep Your Pet Safe During a Disaster

  1. Make an evacuation plan for you and your pet
  2. Arrange a safe haven in case of evacuation
  3. Include supplies for you and your pet in your emergency kit

First you must establish an Emergency Kit for your Pet. An emergency kit is necessary in times of disasters because it can provide supplies during times or need and saves you much needed time. Instead of looking around for the dog food, water, and a leash, you will have everything in one place, ready to leave with you.

Because many of us don’t think about planning for a disaster, the American Veterinary Medical Association has declared May 8th National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day. This is meant to raise awareness about planning for pets’ safety before a disaster strikes. Citizen Corps has even partnered with National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day to continually raise awareness throughout the country.

Emergency Pet Kit

Emergency kits for pets

With natural disasters occurring with greater frequency and without warning, all pet owners should assemble an emergency kit for their furry family members.

Kits are usually comprised of items needed in case of an emergency, such as water, food and a pet first aid kit. These emergency kits for pets are also kept in easy access locations, like a closet by the front door, where you can grab it in a hurry.

Having an emergency pet kit in place will save us time in the long run but may even save our life or our pet’s life. Making a kit is very important so we have created a checklist for you to make sure nothing is forgotten in a stressful situation.

Pet Emergency Kit Checklist

Dog and cat put their bodies in blanket

  • Sturdy Leashes and Collars with ID Tags

During a disaster, you want to make sure your pet is always secure and in your control. If they somehow escape, their ID tags will have all the info to contact you.

  • 1-2 Weeks of Pet Food in Plastic Bags

You don’t want to lug the entire bag of food around during an emergency so place the food in small zipped plastic bags. You can also write down the amount of food in each bag along with the expiration date.

  • Drinking Water and Collapsible Bowls

Water can be used for you and your little friend. The collapsible bowls save space and can also be used for food and water.

  • Pet Carrier with Bedding or Towel

This will make your pet feel at home; bedding and towels can help comfort them.

  • Written Information about your Pet’s Feeding Schedule and Medical Conditions

In case you have to board your pets or place them in foster care for a while.

  • Medications and Medical Records in Waterproof Container

If the disaster goes on for a while, your pupper or kitty is going to need their medicine.  Remember to rotate the medications out every few months before they go bad.

  • Pet First Aid Kit

This might seem obvious, but a pet first aid kit inside your emergency kit is necessary.

  • Pet Toys

This might not seem necessary but if you want to transport your pet from the chaos around you, a familiar toy can help get the job done.

  • Familiar Blankets

It’s important to remember pets get cold too. It also de-stresses them, knowing the blankets are something familiar to them. Wrapping dogs or cat in blankets tightly can help imitate a thunder shirt, which can calm them down.

  • Photos of Your Pet

Whether these are on your phone or in your wallet, they are must-haves in the occasion you lose your pet. Make sure they show the pet’s entire body and are in good lighting.

  • Flashlight and Batteries

In case the power goes out, it’s important to have a flashlight and extra batteries near by in case you need to find your pet.

  • Sanitation Items

Litter box, paper towels, and plastic trash bags can all be used to pick up their accidents.

  • Microchip Information

The microchip number, name and phone number can all be used to track down your pet. Make sure your pet is chipped.

  • List of Emergency Contacts

Besides family members, add your local veterinary, emergency animal hospital and a trusted friend of relative who lives outside your immediate vicinity.

After you’ve included all of those items in your emergency kit, you should be ready to go. As you can see, putting these items in your kit during an emergency would take way too long. This is why we assemble our kit before a disaster happens.



Emergency Plan for Pets

While putting together a pet emergency kit before a disaster is necessary, it’s also important to have an emergency plan for your pet.

Not only is having pet insurance for your dog or cat important in case of an accident or illness occurs during the emergency, but also you must have an evacuation plan in case you need to leave your home during the disaster.

Safe Heaven Just Ahead signboard


Find a Safe Haven

If your home quickly becomes inhabitable, having a safe place for you and your pets is your next step. You also need to know which friends and relatives would be willing to accept your doggo or cat in a dire situation.

Be sure to know which hotels in your area accept pets during an emergency because everybody will be scrambling to get a room. In certain situations, veterinary offices will house their patients during natural disasters. If all falls through, boarding facilities and animal shelters outside the affected area can care for your animals.

These are your safe haven options during an emergency in order of relevance:

  1. Trusted Friend or Relative’s House
  2. Pet-Friendly Hotels/Motels
  3. Your Veterinarians Office
  4. Boarding Facility
  5. Animal Shelter

The important thing is to have several options available you can choose from, so you aren’t panicking after a disaster. Be sure to look for areas as far away from the disaster as possible.

Puppy lies on dog cushion

Unfortunately, evacuating pets with you doesn’t always go as planned. Because of this, we recommend purchasing a “Pets Inside” sticker from your local veterinarian. Place them on your front door so first responders know to rescue pets inside the home.

If you follow the checklist and find a safe haven for you and your pet during a disaster, you’re sure to increase the comfortability of your pet during a stressful time. Being proactive is best in these situations so you know what to expect and be prepared.

To get increased safety for your tiny family member, get a free quote from Prudent Pet, and insure your pet today!