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Pet Preparedness

June is Pet Preparedness Month for the United States.

Disasters impact every household member, including pets. The Indiana Board of Animal Health reports that about 5 percent of people don’t evacuate during disasters because they cannot leave with their pets. Whether taking pets along during an evacuation or choosing to leave them at home, have a disaster kit tailored for pets to help keep everyone safe in an emergency.

Pet Preparedness Tips

Quick Tips
  • Create a disaster kit with pet supplies.
  • If evacuating with a pet, do so early.
  • If unable to evacuate with a pet, leave enough dry food and fresh water to last at least three days.
Dog collar with ID tags

Before a Disaster

  • Confirm potential evacuation locations that allow animals.
  • Maintain reliable identification and current photos on each pet.
  • Practice the evacuation plan with each pet for a better understanding of how they will react.
  • Create a disaster kit with pet supplies.
Cat looking out grate of a cat carrying case

Evacuating With a Pet

During times of a disaster, it may or may not be possible to evacuate with a pet. If evacuating with a pet is possible, follow these steps to be prepared:

  • If possible, evacuate pets early.
  • Call ahead to make a reservation at the chosen evacuation spot.
  • Keep areas clean and sterilized to prevent the potential spread of illness.
  • Keep pets separated from unknown animals and people to prevent stress-related aggression.
Self-feeding pet food and water dishes

Keeping Pets Safe at Home

When evacuating with a pet is not possible, follow these steps to keep animals safer when they must stay behind:

  • Create a buddy system and ask neighbors to check on the animals.
  • Do not leave vitamin treats, which can be fatal if overeaten.
  • In case of a lost pet, contact the area kennels, boarding shelters, humane shelters and veterinary hospitals.
  • Leave animals in rooms without windows.
  • Leave enough dry food and fresh water to last at least three days.
  • Maintain reliable identification on each pet.
  • Never leave animals outdoors where they are vulnerable to the weather and can escape.
Dog food, poop bags, water dish, leash

Disaster Kit Items

Family disaster kits should contain items for pets, or a kit should be made specifically for them. Here are a few items to include in either kit:

  • Bedding
  • Cat litter and litter pan
  • Cleaning supplies for accidents (paper towels, disinfectant)
  • Collar, leash and harness
  • Current photos
  • Dry food and water for at least three days
  • Food and water bowls
  • List of veterinarian clinic, veterinary hospitals and kennel phone numbers
  • Medications, including flea/tick and heartworm preventatives
  • Pet carrier
  • Plastic bags for waste
  • Vaccination records



Download Pet Preparedness Tips


Download Pet Preparedness Tips