Your pets are important members of your family and just like people, they need emergency plans.
Leash, harness, collar and appropriate identification tags. Animals can often get frightened and bolt during emergencies, so make sure that your pet always has a secure collar with the appropriate identification attached. Don’t forget to have your pets’ carrier(s) ready and available.
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.
Create an emergency kit for your pets. Just as you do with your family’s emergency supply kit, think first about the basics for survival, such as food and water. Review your kits regularly to ensure that their contents, especially foods and medicines, are fresh.
Other Steps You Can Take
1. Get a Rescue Alert Sticker
This easy-to-use sticker will let people know that pets are inside your home. Make sure it is visible to rescue workers (by placing it on or near your front door), and that it includes the types and number of pets in your home. If you must evacuate with your pets, and if time allows, write “EVACUATED” across the stickers. These can be ordered free-of-charge from the ASPCA by filling out an order form at aspca.org or may be found for sale at pet supply stores.
2. Arrange a Safe Haven
Arrange a safe haven for your pets in the event of evacuation. IF AT ALL POSSIBLE - 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. It is imperative that you have determined where you will bring your pets ahead of time. Consider keeping this list of contacts stored in your phone as well as printed or stored on a USB drive and kept in your prep kit.
· Contact your veterinarian for a list of preferred boarding kennels and facilities.
· Ask your local animal shelter if they provide emergency shelter or foster care for pets.
· Identify hotels or motels outside of your immediate area that accept pets.
· Ask friends and relatives outside your immediate area if they would be willing to take in your pet.
3. Choose Designated Caregivers
When choosing a temporary caregiver, consider someone who lives close to your residence. They 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.
Remember, your pets can't prep, but you can!
More information about emergency pet preparedness can be found at the following websites: mil.wa.gov, ready.gov, aspca.org.