Pets are an important member or your family, so you should plan how you will care for them during an emergency. Plan ahead, have the right supplies, and know where you will take your pet if you need to evacuate. If you have a plan in place for you and your pets, you will likely encounter less difficulty, stress, and worry when you need to make a decision during an emergency. Don't leave your pets behind, they may end up lost, injured, or worse.
Here is a list of helpful considerations when making an emergency plan for your pets:
Have an evacuation plan for your pet. Many public shelters and hotels do not allow pets inside. Know a safe place where you can take your pets before disasters and emergencies happen.
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.
Have your pet microchipped. Make sure to keep your address and phone number up-to-date and include contact information for an emergency contact outside of your immediate area.
Contact your local emergency management office, animal shelter, or animal control office to get additional advice and information if you're unsure how to care for your pet in case of an emergency.
Here are some items you may want to include in an emergency kit for your pet:
Food for at least three days in a waterproof container.
Water for at least three days, specifically for your pet.
Important documents, medicines, and medical records.
Familiar Items (toys, treats, bedding, etc.)
Collar and leash with up-to-date tags.
Pet Litter, box, newspapers, paper towels, etc.
Travel bag, crate, or sturdy carrier, ideally one for each pet.
Be prepared and stay informed of current conditions. Listen to local officials, sign up for emergency alerts, and remember to always bring pets indoors at the first sign or warning of a storm or disaster.
Evacuate animals when possible.
Map primary and secondary routes in advance.
Ensure your destination has food, water, and veterinary care.
Have vehicles and trailers needed for each type of animal.
Ensure handlers and drivers are experienced and trained.
For additional information about pet preparedness, check out our friends at the Caroline County Humane Society.