Know How to Protect Your Pet During a Natural Disaster

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September is National Preparedness Month

Natural disasters like hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, and fires can be scary for you, your family, and your pets. You might have a plan for keeping your family safe during a natural disaster, but do you have one for your pets too? Leaving pets out of your plans can put pets, pet owners, and first responders in danger.

September is National Preparedness Month

Before an emergency 

  • Make sure your pet wears a collar and tags.
  • Microchip your pet and make sure your contact information is up to date.
  • Practice using a pet carrier so that your pet becomes familiar with riding in the car.
  • Make a plan for where your pet will stay if you need to evacuate. Many evacuation centers do not allow pets.
  • Create an emergency kit for your pet that includes 2-weeks’ worth of supplies, including leashes, harnesses, medications, and medical records for each pet.
  • Practice evacuating and sheltering in place with your pet.
Be prepared banner stating to now your plan of action in case of an emergency

During an emergency

Remember that diseases like rabies, leptospirosis, and those spread by mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks can spread between pets and people during and after a natural disaster. Avoid wildlife and stray animals, contaminated food, and stagnant water.

  • Wash your hands after handling your pet, its food, or its waste.
  • Do not let your pet lick your face or hands.
  • Keep your pet up to date on all vaccinations and heartworm, flea, and tick preventatives.
  • Practice safe handling of your pet, because your pet may behave differently during a stressful situation.
  • Keep your pet in a carrier or on a leash.

After an emergency 

  • If returning home after a disaster, check your home for sharp objects, spilled chemicals, and exposed wiring.
  • If you are separated from your pet after a disaster, contact local shelters, animal organizations or animal control to get assistance with locating your pet.
  • If your pet was injured, try to get your pet to a veterinarian as quickly as possible without risking injury or illness to yourself or your family.