According to a report produced by researchers from Columbia University, the World Bank, the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute and other partners, 3.4 billion people, more than half the worlds population, live in areas where at least one or more natural disaster could significantly impact them.

With that said, it is important to be prepared and to keep your pet safe.  Here are some tips provided by the Humane Society to ensure that everyone is prepared for a disaster.


  1. 1.PREPARE NOW

A. ID your pet - be sure your pet is always wearing a collar and identification tag that is up to date.  If possible, microchip your pet.  Should you and your pet become separated, your chances of being reunited are greatly increased.  Your cell phone number should be on your pet’s tag.


B. **************************************************DISASTER KIT**************************************************


Every member of you household should know what needs to be taken with you in the event you evacuate. This includes supplies for your pet. Stock up on non-perishable food. Have extra medications on hand.  Your veterinarian and their staff will be trying to evacuate with their families as well.  Be prepared.


If you live a flood or hurricane prone area, make a kit to keep in your vehicle in the event you need to evacuate quickly.  If your disaster area includes tornados, store supplies in your tornado proof room or cellar.


Your disaster kit for your pet should include -

  1. a.Food and water for at least 5 days for each pet, bowls, manual can opener. A good rule of thumb is that people need at least one gallon of water per person per day. While your pet may not need that much water, keep an extra gallon on hand for rinsing in the event your pet or pet supplies are exposed to chemicals or flood water.

  2. b.Medications and Medical Records including shot history, stored in a waterproof container and a first aid kit/pet first aid book. Be sure your pets vaccinations are up to date including Bordetella, in the event you find it necessary to kennel your pet.

  3. c.Cat Litter Box, litter scoop, litter and garbage bags

  4. d.Sturdy harness and leash (yes for your kitty too, this makes opening the carrier door and car door so much less stressful)

  5. e.Carrier - Carriers should be large enough to allow your pet to stand comfortably, turn around and lie down. Remember, your pet may be in the carrier for hours at a time. Be sure to secure your pet carrier in your vehicle so your carrier will not be tossed around with the movement of the vehicle. Blankets and any special toys.

  6. f.Current photos of you and your pet with descriptions should you become separated

  7. g.Pet beds and toys.

  8. h.Written information about your pets’ feeding schedules, medical conditions and behavior issues along with name and number of your veterinarian.


  1. C.Arrange a safe place to stay ahead of time - some communities offer emergency shelter for you and your pet, some offer shelter simply for you.  Know your area and what is available.  Contact your local office of emergency management before disaster strikes to see what accommodations are available to you and your pets.

  2. a.Local office of Emergency Management

  3. b.Find a pet friendly hotelMake arrangements with friends or family

  4. c.Consider a kennel or veterinary office that has a facility that can accommodate your pet during a disaste

  5. d.As a last resort, contact your local shelter for foster care information


  1. D.Make a plan for your pet in case you can’t get back home.

  2. a.Make arrangements with a trusted neighbor, friend or family before disaster strikes to care for your pet.

  3. b.Contract in advance with a local pet sitting service.  Many pet sitters are bonded and licensed, meaning they are trustworthy enough to have a key to your home and able to care for your pet.  It will most likely cost your, but the safety of your pet is as stake.


  1. 2.  If you evacuate, take your pet

  2. A.If it isn’t safe for you, it isn’t safe for your pet. In the event of an emergency evacuation, your return time will be uncertain, even if you think you pet will be okay for a little while, take them with you.  If disaster strikes, you could be prevented from returning home in time to help you pet.

  3. B.Pets left behind can be injured, lost or killed. Storm debris and projectiles can damage your home, breaking windows or worse.  Your pet may have the opportunity to escape through these storm damaged areas. Left to fend for themselves, your pet could become victims of exposure, starvation, predators, contaminated food or water, downed power lines resting in puddles, or an accident. Leaving pets outside during a disaster could be a death sentence

  4. C.Evacuate early. Don’t wait for mandatory evacuation orders. The more time you have in advance of the storm, the more likely you are to find accommodations for you and your pets.

  5. D. Be patient with your pet.  Pets sense things such as dropping barometric pressure, fire, stress before we do. Evacuating before conditions become severe will be far less stressful.


  1. 3.If you decide to stay home, be safe

If your family and pets must wait out the storm or disaster at home, locate a safe area within your home where you can all stay together. Make that area animal friendly

  1. A.Close off or eliminate unsafe areas where frightened pets may hide.

  2. B.Remove any dangerous items, such as tools or toxic products.

  3. C.Close windows and doors and stay inside, follow the instructions of your local emergency management office.

  4. D.Bring you pets indoors as soon as local authorities say a storm is on its way.  Many pets sense danger. Outdoor pets may even show up at your door unexpectedly. But as danger grows closer (such as the barometric pressure dropping), feral kitties will do anything to escape. Keep dogs on leashes and cats in carriers and be sure your pets are wearing their identification tags.

  5. E. Listen to the radio for updates and stay inside until the local authorities tell you it is safe to venture out.


  1. 4. Remain cautious after the storm.

Your home amy be a very different place after the emergency is over, and it may be hard for your pets to adjust.

  1. A.Do not allow you pets to roam loose. Familiar landmarks and smells may be gone and your pet could be disoriented as a result. Pets can easily get lost in such situations.

  2. B.While you assess the damage, keep dogs and leashes and cats in carriers inside the house.  If you home is damaged, your pets could escape.

  3. C.Be patient with you pets after a disaster. Try to get them back into their normal routines as soon as possible. Be ready for behavioral issues caused by the stress of the situation. I these problems persist, or if you pet seems to be having health problems, talk to your veterinarian.

  4. D.If your community has been flooded, search your home and yard for wild animals who may have sought refuge there. Stressed wildlife can pose a threat to you and your pet.


5.  You can’t get home to your pet

There may be times that you can't get home to take care of your pets. Icy roads may trap you at the office overnight, an accident may send you to the hospital—things happen. But you can make sure your pets get the care they need by making arrangements now:

  1. A.Find a trusted neighbor, friend, or family member and give him or her a key to your home or barn. This back-up caretaker should be comfortable and familiar with your pets (and vice versa).

  2. B.Be sure your back-up caretaker knows your pets' whereabouts and habits.

  3. C.Let your back-up caretaker know where your pets' food is and where you normally feed them and keep their water bowl, and if they need any medication.

  4. D.If you use a pet sitting service, find out in advance if they will be able to help in case of an emergency.


6. Heat Wave

High temperatures don't just make your pets uncomfortable; they can be dangerous. Here are basic guidelines for summer safety.

  1. A.DO NOT EVER leave your pets in a parked car. Not even for a minute. Not even with the car running and air conditioner on.

  2. B.Be aware of the humidity. Animals pant to evaporate moisture from their lungs, which takes heat away from their body. When the humidity is too high, they are cannot to cool themselves, their temperature will skyrocket to dangerous levels very quickly.

  3. C.Do not depend on a fan. They don't cool off pets as effectively as they do people.

  4. D.Be sure to provide shade and water. Whenever your pet is outside, be sure he or she has protection from heat and sun. Provide plenty of fresh, cold water. A doghouse does not provide relief from heat—in fact, it makes it worse.

  5. E.Limit exercise on hot days to early morning or evening hours including that daily walk. Be especially careful with pets with white-colored ears, who are more susceptible to skin cancer. Short-nosed pets who, because of their short noses, typically have difficulty breathing. Asphalt gets very hot and can burn your pet's paws, walk your dog on the grass if possible.

  6. F.Signs of heatstroke, include heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, seizure, and unconsciousness.

  7. G.Heatstroke should be treated immediately. Move your pet into the shade or an air-conditioned area. Apply ice packs or cold towels to her head, neck, and chest or run cool (not cold) water over her. Let her drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes. Get to a veterinarian as soon as possible.


  1. 7.The electricity goes out

A. Keep your pets with you. If you're forced to leave your home because you've lost electricity, take your pets. If it's summer, even just an hour or two in the sweltering heat, whether outdoors in a yard or inside an apartment, mobile home, or house, can be dangerous. Find a pet friendly hotel. If it's winter, don't be fooled by your pets' fur coats; it isn't safe to leave them in an un-heated house.

B.  If you stay at home during a summer power outage, ask your local emergency management office if there are pet-friendly cooling centers in the area.

Disaster Planning for Pets ~ ShopKeyWestDog.com

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