What To Do With Pets In An Emergency

What To Do With Pets In An Emergency

A pet is part of your family, even in an emergency. You’ll need to know what to do with pets in an emergency. So when it comes to fires, house break-ins, hijackings, car accidents, your furbaby should be part of the evacuation plan.


If you leave them out of the evacuation plans, they can get injured, lost or die. The best thing to do is be prepared – make the necessary arrangements and create a pet disaster kit for your pet. 


Here are some tips on how to prepare:

  • Buy your pet a collar and tags. Make sure the tags are up to date with your pet’s information.
  • A microchip is one of the best ways to ensure a reunion if separated. Register the microchip with the manufacturer and give them your newest contact details. 
  • A leash or carrier is beneficial if left at your front door, especially for an emergency exit. 


A prepared emergency kit for your pet consists of: 

  • Each pet needs a pet carrier. You can write their names, and your name and contact details must be written on each carrier. 
  • Pack in food and water to last for a maximum of two weeks. 
  • Cats need litter and a litter box. Pack in plastic poop bags for your dogs. 
  • If your pet is on medication, carry two weeks’ worth of medication with you. You also need medical records, vaccination cards and prescription records. 
  • Invest in sturdy leashes or harnesses. 


Evacuate with your pet

Safety goes both ways when it comes to you and your pet. What is unsafe for you is definitely unsafe for your pet too. Wherever you go in an evacuation, take your pet too because you don’t know how long you will be away from your area. 

If you can, evacuate as early as possible. Sometimes it is best not to wait for any mandatory evacuation orders. Smoke, high winds or thunder may scare your pet and make it difficult to control them in a crate or carrier. The less stress, the better it is for you and your pet.

Find shelter ahead of time.

Emergency shelters don’t always accommodate pets. If you know a disaster is going to strike, find out where you and your pets can stay. Visit the website of your local office of emergency management to get a directory. Verify the information that you find and their social distancing needs. 


You can contact hotels and motels outside of your area to see if they are open to accommodating you with your pet. Some hotels and motels dismiss their ‘no pet’ policy during an emergency. If you think you need to leave home before disaster hits, make a reservation for you and your pet. 


Friends or relatives can shelter your pet, too but make an arrangement first. veterinarian offices are options as well. You can also turn to your local animal shelter for help. These facilities may be limited. It is best to make an early or tentative reservation in case of an emergency. Looking beyond your immediate area is effective as well.


Safety while staying at a shelter

  • If you and your pet checked into a shelter, wash your hands after handling your pet, their food and waste. Clean and sanitise your pet’s cage or litter box and wash their bedding often.
  • Don’t allow your pet to lick your hands or face. You don’t know what diseases other pets or people may carry. 
  •  Ensure that your pet’s vaccinations for heartworms, fleas and ticks are up to date.
  • Safely handle your pet in a shelter, as it may be a stressful environment for them. You can keep them on a leash if it makes you feel safer.
  • Interaction with other animals is forbidden, especially if you stay at a shelter with wildlife or stray animals. 


What to do with pets in an emergency if you are away from home

Make a plan for your pet if you won’t be home when an emergency occurs. Arrange with someone you trust to look after your pet. Agree on a safe location to meet once disaster hits. Ensure that the ‘someone’ loves animals and that your pet likes them.

If you don’t have a pet sitter, find an alternative caretaker and give them a key to your home. Tell them where your pet is likely to hide when they are scared. Show them where your emergency pet kit is kept and how they can access it. 

Be ready: Know What To Do With Pets In An Emergency

An emergency plan is necessary for you and your pets. An emergency pet kit is there to safeguard your pet on any given day. It is better to be prepared than to leave you and your pet in danger. You can download the iER app here.

The iER App is 100% FREE to use on your smart device. There are no in-app purchases or adverts.

iER uses your mobile internet connection to receive your alerts, chat with you, and update you with your alert status.


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