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Disaster Preparedness

Are you Prepared to Protect Your Pet in a Disaster or Emergency?

In an emergency, every second counts and it’s critical that you are prepared to protect your entire family – including your pets. September is National Preparedness Month, and we are honored to partner with Anheuser-Busch for the second annual “Prepare For Your Pets” campaign, expanding relief efforts and raising awareness of disaster preparedness for both people and pets. This is especially critical as wildfires, heat waves and hurricanes continue to plague the globe.

We wish to arm pet owners with the knowledge and tools needed to help keep their pets and families safe when disaster strikes. Having a disaster preparedness plan in place will not only help save the lives of our beloved animals, but also the lives of owners, volunteers and first responders.

Refer to our checklist and complete a pet preparedness plan:

  • My cats and/or dogs have secure collars with current ID tags, rabies vaccination tags and city or county licenses (where applicable). ID tags include my name, address, telephone numbers (day and evening) and my pet’s name.
  • I have the added security precaution of having my pets microchipped. Any microchip information is up to date with my current contact information and address.
  • I have a pet disaster preparedness kit at the ready with a two-week supply of water, food and medications as well as critical supplies and documentation, such as a photo of my pet.
  • My pet’s portable carrier is ready to go at a moment’s notice. The carrier is large enough for them to turn around and lie down comfortably. I have practiced loading my pet into the carrier.
  • I have identified a safe space I can go with my pets if I must evacuate or seek shelter. (Evacuation destinations may include a friend or family member’s home, or a pet-friendly hotel.)
  • If I must evacuate, I am prepared to take my pets with me and I have the means to transport my pets to the safe space.

If I cannot evacuate . . .

  • I have chosen a safe room for riding out the emergency – an interior room without windows in which there is room to shelter my entire family, including my pets.
  • I have established which family member is responsible for my pet’s needs (who will grab the pet, the pet disaster preparedness kit, carrier, etc.) and bring it to the safe room.
  • I know my pet’s hiding places. In case they are fearful or try to run away, I can easily locate them and bring them to safety.
  • I can secure all exits, so my pet cannot escape or run outside.
  • I will ensure the emergency has fully passed before going outside and assessing damages. I will keep my dog on a leash and/or cat in a carrier to allow them time to become re-oriented and calm.

Congratulations on completing your pet preparedness plan!

To learn how to pack your pet disaster preparedness kit, check out this video featuring Amber from the American Humane Rescue team. For more information on how to prepare for a disaster, visit

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