Hint: Local shelters will hold on to pets found for 14 days after a disaster before putting them up for adoption. This is 7 days longer than their normal holding time so that pet owners have a better chance of relocating their loved ones.

Pet Safety Checklist

    • Place your pet in a crate that he/she is familiar with. Take the time to crate-train your pet so that the fear of an impending disaster is not compounded by being stuffed into an unfamiliar tight enclosure. Their are easy to follow guides that can make crate-training simple and rewarding.
    • Place your pet in or near your family's designated safe-place where he/she can see you.
    • Speak to your pet if possible, if not, play calm soothing music to hide unfamiliar sounds and noise from the storm.
    • Place 7 days supply of food and water in your family's designated safe room along with a potty mat or newspapers.
    • Many times animals are wounded during disasters and will require immediate medical attention. Be sure to place a first-aid kit for your pet (including a few days supply of any prescription meds) along-side your family's first aid supplies within your safe room so that you will have medications that are appropriate for your pet close by.
    • Do not lock your pet in a crate in an area that can flood.
    • If flooding is possible, place your pet in an unlocked crate with his safety swimming vest on.
    • It is a good idea to place a flashing light on your pet so if he is swept away by winds or water he can be found in the dark.
    • Place a brightly colored break-away color on your pet (this by itself could save his life)
    • Keep your pet's vaccinations up-to-date and place the vaccination tag on your pet's collar.
    • Place your pet's id on the collar with a non-local friend's or relative's phone number in case both you and your vet have been affected by the storm and can't be reached.
    • Set up an alternate living arrangement for your pet should you get injured or cannot be located.
    • Make arrangements for your pet's care should you not survive the storm. You can have an estate plan drawn up that will provide for your pet's care should something happen to you.

They count on us!

Preparing Your Pet for a Storm

Although your pet is a member of your family, during a storm special considerations and precautions may be required in order to protect them.

  • Pets can become easily frightened and strange or loud noises, changes in barometric pressure, and fear sensed from other family members can cause your pet to panic.
  • A pet must be protected from his/her own reaction to the disaster. A loud tornado or hurricane can cause a scared animal to panic and to try to break free to run away. 
  • Very few pets missing from a disaster are ever recovered alive, most are never found.