Dog being rescued image

Be prepared if disaster strikes! Make plans now to avoid being disorganized when the pressure is on to evacuate your household. Dedicate a corner of your home, basement, garage, or attic, for these emergency supplies.

Disaster list for pets

  • Microchip your pets and be sure registration is kept current
  • Crates, cages, or containers, for evacuating every pet in your household
  • Cat litter box and extra litter
  • Collapsible pen or temporary fencing
  • Leashes and collars (with owner’s phone numbers and rabies tags) for every pet
  • Toys and treats
  • Water for drinking
  • Pet food
  • Pet medications
  • Veterinary records showing vaccination dates
  • List of pet-friendly lodging options and phone numbers
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight and extra batteries

Turn your home into an indoor/outdoor shelter for your pets

  1. Remove one entrance door from its hinges (store it on the floor in a distant room) to allow at-will, safe, and permanent access to the outdoors. The door should not be exposed to prevailing winds. Yes, there are risks involved with leaving your home open. If you can, take your pets with you instead.
  2. Open all windows to allow air circulation in hot climates.
  3. Paint in your door these words: PLEASE RESCUE OUR PETS, if you are uncertain about whether you can return within 2 weeks.
  4. Post a list TO RESCUERS near the inside entrance that includes:
    –Your contact information
    –Your reciprocal foster contact information
    –All pets by name and type, and any medical needs
    –State that you will make attempts to find and claim your pets
  5. Fill all bathtubs and sinks with clean water. Fill buckets with clean water. Fill big plastic tote bins with clean water. Distribute clean water throughout the house. In hot weather, dehydration can kill in 2 to 3 days, especially young, ill, or elderly pets.
  6. Treat the drinking water so that the standing water doesn’t develop bacterial infestations: 16 drops of plain household chlorine bleach per gallon of water.
  7. Distribute all of your emergency pet food in pans, buckets, and bowls, at least a month’s supply.
  8. Distribute pet toys and favorite beds or blankets.
  9. Clean all cat litter boxes and fill with litter.
  10. Turn furniture over that you don’t want pets climbing on.
  11. Unplug all outlets throughout the house.
  12. Turn off gas or heating oil connections.
  13. Turn off water mains to the house.

Return within 2 weeks without fail. Your pets are your responsibility; pray that they will be alive and waiting for you.

Reality Check: This is not the time to worry about poop and pee. If your pets survive the disaster and the aftermath, be grateful.