Disaster Preparedness for Pets

Disasters and emergencies can occur without warning.  Disaster preparedness for pets is all about that one key word, being 'prepared'. You need to be prepared in case you have to leave your home suddenly or are forced to stay inside without utilities. Hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, forest fires, flooding, and snow storms are all common in different parts of the country. Emergencies can happen anywhere so emergency planning for pets is a necessity.  We are all at risk from something. 

Keep in mind, these things happen rapidly so you won’t have time to gather supplies. Collect them ahead of time. Keep them in one spot so you can quickly grab them and leave in a pet emergency.

Emergency Planning for Pets

If you are forced to leave your home, local shelters may not accept pets, and many places do not provide emergency first aid for dogs and cats. Disaster preparedness for pets means planning ahead and knowing where to go in the case of an emergency.

Have your pet microchipped in case you get separated and be sure the microchip company has your cell phone number.   This will be helpful in the case of a pet emergency or natural disaster.  Have the phone numbers of boarding facilities and pet-friendly hotels. Also have your vet’s number. Smart phones can help you navigate these things if you end up somewhere unfamiliar, so make sure to learn available location based search apps (ie; google maps). 

Emergency planning for pets means keeping with you a copy of your pet’s rabies certificate, a list of his medications and any health problems he has (whiskerDocs members can store this data on their account). Have a supply of his medications, food and water to last several days. Include in your supplies a first aid kit and a leash or carrier. To save space, you can buy collapsible bowls at camping supply stores. Include a can opener if needed. Have litter and a box for cats. 

Disaster preparedness for pets is as serious as for humans.  Emergencies happen quickly so you need to be prepared ahead of time. You won’t have time to look for supplies. Gather them now!

The Disaster Preparedness for Pets Checklist

These five simple items can make all the difference in a true pet emergency, so review the list and see if you're truly prepared!

  1. Pet is microchipped
  2. Rabies certificate and medical history is readily accessible
  3. Canned or dehydrated food, water, and extra medications are on hand
  4. A first aid kit is assembled
  5. A leash or carrier is ready to go
  6. Knowledge of Pet CPR


If you keep all of the above items in a closet, your attic, or your garage, you'll be prepared for any emergency that could come your way, even if you don't need all of the above to handle it!

All articles are reviewed and maintained by whiskerDocs team of veterinary experts.

whiskerDocs' content is for informational purposes only. Read our Terms.