1) IF YOU DON'T ALREADY HAVE ONE...EITHER BUY OR PUT TOGETHER A PET EVACUATION KIT
- Make sure everything is labeled with your contact information
- Take extra labels and markers
- Crates / Carriers
- Food (enough for at least one week)
- Water (enough for at least one week)
- Food Dishes and Water Bowls
- Blankets / Beds
- Can Opener (if your pet eats canned food that does not have a pop up lid)
- Litter box and kitty litter
- Poop bags
- Extra collar and harness with extra long leash
- Make sure the collars have identification
- Since many pets escape by pulling out of their collars, have your pets microchipped (if they aren't already)
- Make sure your contact information for the microchip is up to date
- Contact information to update your pet's Microchip I.D. if you evacuate
- Recent photos of your pets
- A pet First Aid kit
- Basic information including phone numbers, the name of your veterinarian, and copies of medical records in waterproof containers
- Paper towels and disinfectant
- Information for a boarding facility
- Make sure that your pet's vaccinations are up to date in case it needs to go to a boarding facility or evacuation area
2) HAVE A PLAN OF ACTION
- Know, in advance, which family members will be responsible for each pet
- Who will load the pets, who will load evacuation kits, which vehicles you will use to transport, who will drive, various evacuation routes, and options of where you will go if you are evacuated (relatives, friends, hotel, etc)
- Remember that not all evacuation centers allow pets.
- Prearrange with friends or family that will take your pets if necessary.
3) HOLD A "DRY RUN" OF HOW TO EVACUATE WITH YOUR PETS
- Practice your Plan of Action. A few minutes during an evacuation can save lives.
4) ASSIGN "CARE GIVERS" FOR YOUR PETS
- After you have been evacuated is NOT the time to determine which family members will be responsible for the care of your pets.
- Have a feeding, walking, cleaning schedule before you need it.
5) PET IDENTIFICATION STICKERS FOR YOUR HOME - INCLUDING A SIGN TO NOTIFY RESCUERS WHEN YOU HAVE "EVACUATED"
- While pet rescue is not the top priority for firefighters and other emergency personnel, like the rest of us, they are animal lovers. Whenever they can, they will do what they can to rescue pets.
- Have a sign prominently displayed in a door or window informing emergency personnel that you have pets, how many, and what kind.
- Include contact information for your veterinarian.
- If you evacuate and you're able to take your pets...Write "EVACUATED" over the stickers.
6) PLAN FOR A LONG-TERM CAREGIVER
- In the event that you are not able to return to your home, make arrangements for a friend or family member that will take your pets for an extended period if necessary.
7) HORSES AND OTHER LARGE ANIMALS
- If you must leave in a hurry and you cannot take your horses or other large livestock, one option is to open the gate to their enclosure so they can escape on their own.
- If this is your only option, remember to close the gate after you let the animals out. Otherwise they are inclined to go back into the enclosure and stay there. That's their safe place where they get water, food, and care, so they might return to that area in spite of impending danger.