Prepare 2024: About the Fur Kids…

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By Scott Roberts

This week’s topics:
A Look Back | New Ways to Get Warnings | About the Fur Kids…
A Busy or Blah 2024? | The Top Weather Killer You Wouldn’t Expect

To ensure your family and pets are well-prepared for a variety of emergencies, it’s crucial to consider a wide range of natural disasters and everyday emergencies. These can occur at any time, anywhere, and often without warning. Here’s a comprehensive guide to planning for both your family and pets:

First: Let Responders Know

pet alert sticker
Example of a pet alert window sticker, courtesy of

These stickers are available inexpensively in many places including on Amazon.

Emergencies to Prepare For

  • Fires: Involve your pets in your fire safety plans.
  • Hurricanes: Secure your pets in a safe area with minimal debris. If you have to evacuate, take your pets along with you.
  • Earthquakes: Make sure your pets are not in a location that could be dangerous during an earthquake.
  • Tornadoes: Keep your pets away from windows and doors. If you have to evacuate or go to a safe shelter, take your pets with you.
  • Floods: Store food and water in elevated areas.
  • Severe Storms: Ensure your pets are secure and away from windows.


Pet Disaster Preparedness Kit

Ensure your pet disaster kit includes

  • Documents: Veterinary records, vaccinations, and microchip information.
  • Pet Descriptions: Include breed, sex, color, weight, and recent photographs. Preferred: a photo of you AND your pet. There are many beagles, but only one Snoopy who is yours.
  • Waterproof Container for Documents: To protect important information.
  • Contact Information: Include phone numbers and addresses for your family and friends or relatives.
  • Water, Food, Medications: Store a 2-week supply of food and water for each pet in waterproof containers.
  • Medication Instructions: Include any prescriptions and their instructions.
  • Other Supplies: Leash, collar with ID, litter and litterbox (for cats), and appropriate-sized pet carrier with bedding.
  • Pet First Aid Book and First Aid Kit: To address any injuries.
  • Cleaning Supplies: For accidents, including paper towels, plastic bags, and disinfectant.

How Often Should I Update My Kit?

To ensure your pet disaster preparedness kit remains effective and relevant, it’s important to update its contents regularly. Here’s a detailed approach based on the provided sources:

  • Replace Food and Water: Every six months, replace the food and water in your pet emergency kit. This is because these items can spoil or become less effective over time. Mark the date you prepared or checked the kit on all food and water containers to keep track of when they need to be replaced.
  • Update Documents and Contacts: Keep all documents, such as veterinary records and microchip information, up to date. This includes ensuring that the contact information for emergency responders is current, especially if you’ve moved or changed your phone number. Regularly review your pet’s medical records and update them as needed.
  • Check Medications and Supplies: Medications and other supplies in your kit may lose their effectiveness or expire over time. Check the expiration dates of all items in your pet emergency kit before sealing it up. This includes prescription medications, cleaning supplies, and any other packaged products. If you bring home additional pets, make sure you have supplies in your kit for them as well .
  • Include Critical Roadside Gear for Long-Distance Evacuations: If you frequently travel with your pets or need to evacuate by car during an emergency, consider creating a special pet emergency kit for your car. This kit should include items like a crash-tested kennel, foldable pet carrier, grooming wipes, reflective pet clothing, and safety harnesses.
  • Pet Insurance: Consider adding pet insurance to your checklist of items for ultimate protection and peace of mind. This ensures that your pets are covered in case of an emergency that could lead to financial loss. 

If I Have to Evacuate with My Pet, What can I Expect?

AI-Generated image of owners readying pets to go to a shelter after a storm

If you need to evacuate during a disaster, it’s crucial to ensure that your pet is included in your evacuation plan. Shelters, including many disaster evacuation centers like those run by the Red Cross, do not typically accept pets unless they are service animals. However, there are several options for your pet during an evacuation:

  1. Pet-Friendly Hotels: Check with hotels along your evacuation route to see if they accept pets in an emergency. Some pet-friendly hotels, like those listed on,, and, may be willing to accommodate pets during disasters. It’s advisable to call ahead and make reservations if you know you might need to evacuate.
  1. Boarding Facilities or Animal Hospitals: If you’re unable to return home right away, consider locating boarding facilities or animal hospitals near your evacuation shelter. These facilities can provide temporary care for your pet while you’re away.
  1. Out-of-Town Friends or Relatives: Knowing friends or relatives in other areas can be a lifesaver. If they are willing and able to care for your pet during an evacuation, it can be a viable option.
  1. Local Veterinary Clinics: Some veterinary clinics may offer emergency accommodations for pets. It’s important to contact them in advance to check their policies and to make arrangements if needed.
  1. Buddy System: Developing a buddy system with neighbors, friends, or relatives can ensure that someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so. This could involve checking on your pets or even taking them to a safe location.
  1. Microchipping: Ensure your pet is microchipped and that you have the most current contact information for the microchip company. This can help in quickly identifying and reuniting with your pet if they are lost or separated from you.
  2. Practice Evacuating with Your Pet: Familiarize your pet with their carrier and practice evacuation drills. This can help reduce stress and ensure that your pet can be safely transported during an evacuation

Remember, leaving pets behind during a disaster can lead to them being lost, injured, or worse. Always include your pet in your evacuation plans and be prepared with alternative accommodations and supplies.

Extra for Members: Pet-Specific Laws & Regulations During A Disaster


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