Pet Preparedness Series: Part 1

Pet evacuation tips

With springtime and warm weather comes an increase in the risk of hazardous weather events.  Most disasters that affect humans have the potential to also affect animals.   Under most disaster conditions, it is advised to take your pet with you when you must relocate or evacuate your home.  If it’s not safe for you, it’s not safe for your pet!  Reentry into a house or other structure to locate or care for an animal after an evacuation order can put owners as well as first responders in greater harm following a disaster.  Be sure to have an overall evacuation plan, whether it involves staying with family members, boarding, or staying at a shelter.

Many hotels and shelters may not accept pets, so know ahead of time what facilities may be accessible for you.   Your county or parish emergency manager should have a list of local shelters which accept pets.  Several on-line sites are available to help you find a suitable location, such as Petswelcome at:   Always confirm information with hotels or other public facilities since policies may change in a disaster.  Have transportation methods and pet carriers, along with leashes and collars, available.  Even if you do not routinely travel with your pet, it is a good idea to get them accustomed to being in a kennel, cage or carrier and going for car rides.


For more information on pet disaster preparedness, visit the American Veterinary Medical Association   or the American Red Cross Pet Disaster (  websites.