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Disaster Preparedness Includes Planning for Pets

Over the past several years, wildfires, derechos, tornadoes and hurricanes have forced thousands of Americans from their homes. In many cases, a natural disaster strikes suddenly and there is little time to prioritize what essential items may be needed when you and your pet are unexpectedly displaced.

Preparing a “grab & go” bag for your pet will save you time during an emergency and keep your pet safe while away from home. In addition to including supplies such as feeding bowls, leashes and toys, you should portion out at least a five-day supply of pet food, pet medications, bottled water and waste/litter box bags. A portable pet carrier or kennel is also recommended to keep your pet secure while traveling or staying in an unfamiliar environment.

It is also helpful to know where you may go with your pet before the need arises. Identify a few pet-friendly hotels outside of your immediate area and keep that information in your pet’s bag. And if there is a known evacuation shelter in your area, find out if pets are welcome. Lastly, make a list of friends or family who would be willing to shelter your pet during an emergency.

Having your pet microchipped and registered with your current information is another important step in a preparedness plan. An up-to-date collar ID tag with at least two mobile numbers listed is also a must and will make possible a speedy reunion in the event you are separated from your pet for any reason.

Check out this infographic for an at-a-glance summary of these top tips for being a prepared pet parent when it matters most.