If you need to evacuate (leave your home for safer ground) TAKE YOUR PET WITH YOU. Leaving pets behind, even if you try to create a safe place for them, is not the best action for pets in disasters. Pets cannot go with you to a Red Cross emergency shelter (unless they are service animals, like dogs for the visually impaired). Since your pet cannot go to the shelter, you need to plan ahead.
We've seen in the most recent disasters how pets that have been left behind by their owners died or got seriously injured. Obviously, these pet owners failed to prepare. As soon as disaster strike, they quickly evacuate, leaving their pets behind. They didn't have a choice because the shelter wouldn't accept them. They live the rest of their lives with the guilt of having to leave "family members" behind.
This is why you have to plan in advance so you'll know your options. For example, you can prepare a list of boarding facilities and veterinarians who could shelter your animals in an emergency. You can also contact hotels or motels outside the danger zone and keep a list of "pet friendly" places in your emergency kit so you’ll know where to go. If you get advance notice that you will need to evacuate, call and make a reservation at a "pet friendly" place right away! You can also ask friends or relatives outside the area if they could keep your pets in an emergency.
You can easily take care of your pets in disasters and they don't have to be a burden for your family. This is provided that you plan ahead and this pet emergency pocket guide can help.
- Before a Disaster
- Develop a Disaster Kit for your Animals
- Guide to Evacuating with Pets