Small Animals

Disasters often strike quickly and with little or no warning. With a little advanced planning you may save your pet’s life in a disaster.

During a Disaster

If there is a hint of a disaster, do the following to protect your pet:

  1. Call ahead to confirm emergency shelter for you and your pet(s). This could include contacting hotels and motels outside the disaster area to check on policies on accepting pets. Contacting family members or friends outside the affected area to determine if they can shelter your pet.
  2. Check your pet disaster supply kit.
  3. Bring your pet(s) inside so you will not have to search for them if you leave in a hurry.
  4. Make sure all dogs and cats are wearing collars, securely fastened with up to date identification information.

Prevent Losing Your Pet in a Disaster

Your pet can become confused and get lost with the unfamiliar sounds, smells, sights that happen during and after a disaster.  The following can prevent loss:

  1. Your animal should wear appropriate identification at all times:
  • Identification tag with owners name, address, and telephone number
  • Microchip
  • Tattoo


  1. Develop a general family disaster plan and include specific plans for your pet(s).
  2. Decide who will take care of your pet and where he or she will stay during the disaster.
  3. Determine the best room in the house to leave your pet if you must evacuate without your pet. Leave food and water in that room for your pet. Leave notice on window or door that an animal is in the house.
  4. Make a list of the name, address and phone numbers where you get veterinary care.
  5. Have a list of possible friends or family you and your pet might be able to stay with in a disaster.
  6. Have your name, address, and phone number written down.
  7. Have the name, address and phone number of a friend or relative to contact in the event you are not available.
  8. Train your pet. Obedience may save your pet's life during an emergency and will make your pet a more welcomed guest.
  9. Have a crate or carrier for your animal.
  10. Familiarize your pet with the crate or carrier.
  11. Familiarize your pet with being transported. Practice riding in a car.
  12. Prepare a disaster kit for your pet.
  13. Practice evacuation with your family and pet.

Disaster Preparedness Kit

  1. Collar with tags, harness, muzzle, and leash. (Remember that even a gentle animal may become aggressive when frightened.)
  2. Crate or carrier. Label the crate or carrier with your pet's name, your name, address and phone number and contact information for alternative person. The crate should be large enough for your pet to stand up and turn around.
  3. Two weeks supply of food and water. Can opener if using canned food.
  4. Non-spill food and water bowls.
  5. Vaccination information, including rabies certificate and medical records including any allergies. Place in zip-lock or waterproof plastic bag.
  6. Medication and dosing instructions.
  7. Litter, litter pan, litter scoop for cats. Pooper scoop or plastic bags for dogs.
  8. Paper towels and disinfectant, hand sanitizer.
  9. Flashlight, radio, and batteries.
  10. A recent photo of you with your pet.
  11. Paper towels, plastic bags, and disinfectant for animal waste cleanup.
  12. Toys or blanket your pet will find familiar.