Care & Feeding

June is National Pet Preparedness Month: Is Your Pet Included in Your Emergency Plan?

Does your family have a plan of action in case of an emergency, such as a house fire or flood evacuation? Have you thought about what to do to help the four-legged members of your household?Emergency response teams with the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency remind us to include our cat or dog in our emergency preparedness plans!

As you think about your pet’s welfare during an emergency, some tips to consider include:

  • Should you need to evacuate your home, have a plan for where to take your pet. Research nearby hotels and motels that allow for pets, ask any nearby family members if they are able to help board a pet, or ask your local shelter if they can help foster your pet in case of an emergency. Make sure to keep those phone numbers and addresses handy.
  • Have a toolkit ready to go. Some items that you can keep in a toolkit include: first aid supplies (such as gauze and nonstick bandages), a leash and/or carrier, your pet’s medical records, and food and water.
  • Keep a sticker on your home’s windows and doors to tell emergency workers or neighbors if there are pets inside. These stickers indicate how many pets are inside the house and can help emergency responders know to look for pets.

Organizations such as the American Red Cross and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have a number of additional tips to help keep your pet safe and healthy, right alongside the rest of your family, during an emergency. Preparedness is an important component of responsible pet care. Consider taking a few minutes out of your week to develop a plan for your dog or cat – it could