Evacuate with a Pet in a Chemical Emergency

In some chemical emergencies, you may need to stay put stay put and seal off your space (shelter-in-place) or leave the immediate area (evacuate) because it is too dangerous to stay.

If you have pets, you will need a plan to care for them during a chemical emergency.

Taking care of a pet in a chemical emergency is not as simple as caring for yourself or a loved one.

How do you evacuate with your pet?

Listen to the radio, television, or your mobile news app or check your cell phone for text alerts from the emergency alert system. Follow any instructions from your police, fire, or local officials. In general, for pets, you should do these following things.

  • If you are told to go to a shelter, take your pets with you. If you leave your pets behind, they may be lost, injured, or worse.
  • Never leave a pet chained outdoors.
  • Put your pet in a pet carrier or crate.
  • Take your pet’s Ready to Go bag.
  • Take your pet’s medications. Bring 2 weeks of medications.
  • Some shelters, such as those of the American Red Cross, take only service animals. Local emergency services may have information on other area shelters that take pets.
  • Local animal shelters or your veterinarian may offer advice on what to do with your pets if you must evacuate.
What if you are not home?
  • In a chemical emergency, cars, trucks, or other vehicles may not be airtight enough to protect you.
  • Listen to the radio, your mobile news app, or check your phone for messages to find the nearest shelter and go there. Follow instructions from your police, fire, or other local officials.
  • Contact your buddy or trusted neighbor so they can take care of your pet until it is safe for you to return home.