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Animal Disaster Preparedness

If you live in an area frequented by natural disasters like hurricanes, wildfires or earthquakes, you know that there could be reason to evacuate your property at any time.

As unsettling as it may be to think about organizing care for your pets if disaster strikes, it could save you from challenges down the line. Your pets are one of the most important things in your home, so plan their care accordingly in the case of a natural disaster. Give them the best chance of survival with these tips.

Don't leave your pets in harm’s way

Always try to evacuate with your pets, or at least organize a safe space for them to go if disaster strikes. If you need to evacuate your home, it's likely that it will also become an inhospitable environment for pets.

There are a few steps you can take to identify safe spaces for your pets:

  • Ask local veterinarians if they know of any boarding kennels that would accept pets in this scenario

  • Ask your local animal rescue if they provide emergency care for pets in the event of a disaster

  • Identify a non-local family member who might be able to look after your pets

  • Identify a non-local hotel or motel that accepts pets

Consider emergency pet supplies

Always make sure that your pet’s collar contains up-to-date contact information, names and medical needs.

To be sure that your pet can be identified in the case of separation, consider microchipping them. This will be a way for most animal shelters to identify your pet.

It is also a nice idea to store an ‘emergency kit’ close to your home’s main exit. This could contain a week’s worth of dry food, leashes, carriers, bowls, a bed and litter trays. You could also include copies of your pet’s medical history and some chew toys.

Buy a rescue alert sticker for your door

This is one of the best solutions to help keep your pets safe if you must evacuate quickly without them. These stickers should be placed on your front door so they are clearly visible to rescue workers who will be looking to save any pets stuck inside your home.

Be sure to accurately describe your pets on the sticker, as well as including the number you have. If you are able to evacuate with your pets, be sure to write ‘EVACUATED’ across the sticker if time allows. This will help to prevent the emergency workers from searching your home unnecessarily.

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