Protect Your Pet During a Disaster
Pet owners develop special, unique bonds with their pets. Please
consider taking the following steps to help protect your pet during a
- Bring your pets inside immediately.
- Have newspapers on hand for sanitary purposes. Feed animals moist or canned food so they will need less water to drink.
- Animals have instincts about severe weather changes and will
often isolate themselves if they are afraid. Bringing them inside early
can stop them from running away. Never leave a pet outside or tied up
during a storm.
- Separate dogs and cats. Even if your dogs and cats normally get
along, the anxiety of an emergency situation can cause pets to act
irrationally. Keep small pets away from cats and dogs.
- In an emergency, you may have to take your birds with you. Talk
with your veterinarian or local pet store about special food dispensers
that regulate the amount of food a bird is given. Make sure that the
bird is caged and the cage is covered by a thin cloth or sheet to
provide security and filtered light.
- If you evacuate your home, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND! Pets
most likely cannot survive on their own and if by some remote chance
they do, you may not be able to find them when you return.
- If you are going to a public shelter, it is important to
understand that animals may not be allowed inside. Plan in advance for
shelter alternatives that will work for both you and your pets; consider
loved ones or friends outside of your immediate area who would be
willing to host you and your pets in an emergency.
- Make a back-up emergency plan in case you can't care for your
animals yourself. Develop a buddy system with neighbors, friends and
relatives to make sure that someone is available to care for or evacuate
your pets if you are unable to do so. Be prepared to improvise and use
what you have on hand to make it on your own for at least three days,
To view other pet safety tips, including information on pet emergency
plans, pet shelters, cold weather guidelines, and tips for large
FEMA information on pet and animal emergency planning.