WAP team member with a puppy.

Preparing a Disaster Plan for Your Companion Animal

Do you have a plan to protect your companion animal 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.

Use this checklist to prepare an emergency kit and be ready to protect your companion animals 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 companion animal 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 companion animal.
  2. Medicines and first aid kit: Store any extra supply of medicines your companion animal 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.
  3. 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 companion animal or place them in foster care. Also, carry copies of your insurance information. 
  4. Identification tags: Make sure these are up-to-date and securely fastened to your companion animal's collar. 
  5. Shelter: Identify a shelter that can host both you and your companion animal. Also, have a carrier and a leash that you can use to transport them - practice getting them in and out of the carrier so they are familiar with the routine.

Advice for Livestock Owners

Disaster plans are not just for companion animals. 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.

The Power of Being Ready

Often, disasters strike with little to no notice, which is why it’s critical to be prepared. We've created the following resources to guide your disaster preparedness plans.

Dogs Disaster Pack

Cats Disaster Pack

Small Animals Disaster Pack

Animals in Disasters

Our Fund builds on our legacy of rescuing and protecting animals affected by disasters through support for partner organizations on the ground providing critical aid to animals following disaster events.

Ways to Give

Discover all the ways you can give to protect animals around the world.