No Paw Left Behind: Include Pets’ Needs in Your Disaster Plan

Planning for hurricane season means planning for all members of your family, including those who can’t plan for themselves. Don’t put yourself in a bad situation by forgetting to prepare for your pets’ needs.

Make sure you’re ready for natural disasters by following these steps:

  1. Build an emergency kit. Include at least a three-day supply of food and water as well as medications, medical records, registration papers, a pet first aid kit (include a pet first aid book), collar or harness with ID tag, leash, crate or pet carrier, picture of you and your pet together, and sanitation items like litter, paper towels and garbage bags. Your pet will also appreciate familiar items to reduce stress, like treats, toys, bedding and a calming shirt. Use the checklist at https://go.usa.gov/xmFDP to help build your emergency kit.
  2. Identify shelters. Many emergency shelters will not accept pets. Consider whether family or friends can take in your pets in an emergency instead. Also look for hotels that allow pets and find kennels or other boarding facilities near your likely shelter.
  3. Use the buddy system. In case you’re not home when disaster strikes, arrange for a trusted neighbor to care for your pets.
  4. Know how to find them. In case you lose track of a pet, write down the phone numbers for the local humane society and animal welfare organizations, your county animal response team and the National Animal Rescue and Sheltering Coalition. You may also want to consider a permanent identification method such as microchipping.

If you must leave your pets behind in an emergency, never leave them chained outside.

To learn more about preparing for natural disasters with pets, visit www.ready.gov/caring-animals or www.listo.gov/es/cuidado-de-los-animales for Spanish.

Read more at FEMA

The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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