Disaster Planning with Pets in Mind
Here in the Pacific Northwest, disasters can come in many forms: earthquakes, fires, severe winter weather, heat waves and more. When disaster strikes, having a plan makes all the difference. Does your plan include considerations for your pets? Make a plan now, so you know what to do when the time comes.
Below, you'll find important disaster-planning recommendations to keep your pets safe.
Disaster Kits for People and Pets
Emergency kits are essential for people, but don't forget to include your pet in your planning! Your disaster kit should include the essentials for you and your pet for several days. Your kit should be stored in sturdy, easily transported containers like duffel bags, totes, or even an extra suitcase. Learn more about what to include in your kit and the links below.
Disaster Kits for People Disaster Kits for Pets
And when you make your plan, don't forget to include plans for sheltering in place as well as what to do if you need to evacuate. Plan now so you can be prepared later.
Where to Stay after a Disaster
If you stay home, make sure it is safe
If your family and pets must wait out a storm or other disaster at home, identify a safe area inside of your home where you can all stay together. Make that area animal-friendly:
- Close off or eliminate unsafe nooks and crannies where frightened pets may try to hide.
- Move dangerous items such as tools or toxic products.
- Be sure to close your windows and doors, stay inside, and follow the instructions from your local emergency management office.
If you need to relocate
Should you need to evacuate, plan to take your pet with you and call ahead to find out which emergency shelters allow you to bring animals. If you intend to stay in a hotel, try using a travel or vacation website that allows you to filter by lodging that allows pets.
Be Ready for Everyday Disasters
From icy road conditions to extreme heat, your pet may need immediate care when you can't get there.
Find a trusted neighbor, friend, or family member and give him or her a key to your house or barn. Make sure this back-up caretaker is comfortable and familiar with your pets (and vice versa) and knows your pets' whereabouts and habits. Let your back-up caretaker know where your pets' food is and where you normally feed them and keep their water bowl, and if they need any medication. If you use a pet-sitting service, find out in advance if they will be able to help in case of an emergency.
Looking for tips to keep your pet safe in extreme heat and cold?
License and Microchip Your Pet
In the event that you become separated from your pet, make sure your pet's licenses are up to date and your pet has been microchipped. Tags and collars may become damaged or fall off during an emergency; microchips make it easier for local authorities to help reunite pets and their owners and are available at most veterinary clinics.