Preparing a disaster plan for your pet
Do you have a plan to protect your pet during a disaster or emergency?
Disasters such as earthquakes, floods, fires, and cyclones strike the world's population more than 400 times every year, killing, injuring and displacing millions of people and animals.
Despite this, animals are rarely included in national emergency response programs. With over 50 years of rescuing animals in disasters, we are helping governments and communities around the world to better prepare for disasters.
Here is our checklist so you can prepare an emergency kit and make sure you are ready to protect your pets when disaster strikes
1. Food and water: Have an emergency bag ready to go with non-perishable food. If you can, try to provide food they are used to so as to avoid stomach upsets. Ensure that you have enough safe drinking water for your pet in addition to the water you need for your family (remember an animal can drink more water than usual when under stress). Plus you will need extra water to clean up after your pet.
3. Medicines and first aid kit: Store any extra supply of medicines your pet needs in a waterproof container, as well as any special dietary needs or supplements. Also, prepare a first aid kit. Talk to your vet about any specific requirements such as tick/flea prevention, antibiotic ointment and saline solution.
4. Veterinary/Medical Records: In the same waterproof container, store copies of any medical and vaccination records including your vet’s name and telephone number. Make sure you have any extra copies in case you have to shelter your pet or place them in foster care. Also, carry copies of your pet insurance information.
5. Identification tags: Make sure these are up-to-date and securely fastened to your pet's collar.
6. Shelter: Identify a shelter that can host both you and your pet. Also, have a carrier and a leash that you can use to transport your pet - practice getting them in and out of the carrier so they are familiar with the routine.
Take our pet protector quiz
Now that you've reviewed this checklist, find out just how prepared you are and what you can do to keep your animal friends safe.
Advice for livestock owners
Disaster plans are not just for pets. If you have other animals in your care, such as livestock, ensure you also have a plan ready.
Have an emergency kit that includes animal identification, records/documents, important contact numbers and first aid. If you can and it is safe for you to do so, move your animals to a designated safe place.
If you have no choice but to leave your livestock behind, leave them enough food and clean water for 72 hours before evacuating. They will need shelter and protection from the elements.
Support World Animal Protection’s work in disasters
For more than 50 years, World Animal Protection has worked tirelessly to save millions of animals in disasters all over the world. We work to get living conditions back to normal – or improve them – for all affected animals. Support our Disaster Management Fund and help us have the funds ready to bring immediate relief to animals when a disaster strikes.