The Emergency Management Network

Securing Our Pets

The best thing you can do for yourself and your pets is to be prepared. 
Get Ready Now!
Remember that Emergencies Do NOT Happen Based on Your Schedule!
11 Steps to Pet Safety Preparedness


Step 1: Tag, Tattoo and/or Microchip your Pet.
In the event you are not in the company of your pet when disaster strikes, make sure that when you pet is found you can be contacted. Adding a secondary caregiver's info might improve your chances of finding your pet if lost.

Pet Alert Sticker

Step 2: Get a Rescue Alert Sticker.
It will let people know that pets are inside your home. Make sure it is visible to rescue workers.If you must evacuate with your pets, and if time allows, write "EVACUATED" across the sticker OR get a Rover RespondR and download their FREE EVACUATION CARDS (free alert decals included). There are plenty other companies and organizations that provide Alert Stickers. Simply run a Google search on 'Pet Alert Decal', 'Pet Alert Stickers', etc

Don't let Shelter be a Drawer!

Step 3: Arrange a Safe Haven.
Note that Red Cross disaster shelters will NOT accept pets because of health and safety regulations, so it is imperative that you have determined where you will bring your pets AHEAD of time. Search for pet friendly accommodations ahead of time. Mark them on your evacuation map. Search for accommodations here: 
The Pets Act of 2006 gives you Rights! 


Step 4: Emergency Supplies and Traveling Kits.
Keep an Evac-Pack and supplies handy for your pets. Make sure that everyone in the family knows where it is.

Don't leave us here!

Step 5: Choose “Designated Caregivers”.
He or she should be someone who is generally home during the day while you are at work or has easy access to your home. A set of keys should be given to this trusted individual along with clear instructions of care. Get to know where that individual would go should they be forced to evacuate or leave the premises. You may also want to implement a Buddy Buddy System. You exchange pet information, evacuation plans and house keys with a trusted friend or neighbor. If you are caught outside evacuation lines when an evacuation order is issued, these trusted neighbors or friends can be tapped to implement the plan you have in place. Part of that plan should also include a Twitter type method to communicate during and right after the event allowing you to meet up someplace or know where these people are going and what type trouble they are encountering.


Beware of Falling Debris
I'm stuck! Help me out of here!

Step 6: Evacuation Preparation.
If you must evacuate your home in a crisis, plan for the worst-case scenario. If you think you may be gone for only a day, assume that you may not be allowed to return for several weeks. Consider your evacuation route and call ahead to make arrangements for boarding your pet outside of the danger zone at the first sign of disaster. REMEMBER: Emergency Kits serve you best if ready BEFORE the emergency.

We are freezing our tails off! Come Back! Let us in!

Step 7: Geographic and Climatic Considerations.
Do you live in an area that is prone to certain natural catastrophes, such as tornadoes, earthquakes or floods? If so, you should plan accordingly.
Visit our U.S. Emergency Management Agency Finder section to locate your state's and/or local emergency management agency. Please follow their instructions as they are most familiar with your location and its risks.


Step 8: Stock Up on Pet Necessities.
Get that a dedicated pet evacuation kit. Contents should include water for your pet(s), pet food, can opener, whistle, pet first aid kit, bowls, leashes and collars, toys litter box (if your pet uses the litter), plastic bags (for trash), newspapers & pet medication. 

Step 9: Learn Which Emergency Shelter Allows Pets.
And learn the rules (they should have a form or handout available).
See the Sarasota Shelter Rules Example here below.

Sarasota County Pet Shelter Rules


Step 10: Keep a Crate Per Pet. After Katrina, some shelters allow pets as long as they are crated. Remember however that these shelters will be booked first. Find a crate NOW! If you need to find a crate click here.

As an alternative to a hard crate you might want to look into collapsable pop up crate tents. These are easier to pack when in a rush and take almost no room! For more info click here.

Step 11: Keep your pets vaccinations up-to-date.
Those shelters that accept pets will require proof of vaccinations. Keep records available in your Evac Pack. Pet passports are great to store all pertinent vaccination records in an easy to grab and go document. The passport is also an easy referral to check when the next vaccination is due.
Make sure to keep a picture of YOU with your Pet in the evacuation kit. Should ownership get challenged you have a printed copy showing you as the owner. Same applies to the picture placed inside the passport. 

Step 12: Make some Room for your Pets In Your Will/Testimony.
God forbid should something happen to you during that emergency, make sure that your pets will be taken care of.
As of September 2006, some states provide pet owners with the possibility to create a Trust for their pets. You can choose for a pet trust to take effect upon your death or any disability that prevents you from caring properly for your pet. Although this alternative may seem extreme to some, it is now legal in some form in Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin. Check with your state attorney general or your local Humane Society to find out the status of the law in your state.
If you feel so inclined you can also visit , , The American College of Trust & Estate Council , or Estate Planning for Pet Owners for FAQ and general information.

The Emergency Management Network * USA