Disasters can happen at any time; so plan ahead and don't lose sense of your priorities—pets are family and should never be left behind. Pledge now to be a responsible pet owner who will take ALL pets with you.
Visit humanesociety.org/disaster for more resources on staying safe during times of disaster. And remember—if it's not safe for you, it's not safe for your pets. Download and print a PDF version of this checklist
My basic disaster kit includes:
- Food and water for at least five days for each pet, bowls and a manual can opener if you are packing canned pet food. People need at least one gallon of water per person per day. While your pet may not need that much, keep an extra gallon on hand to use if your pet has been exposed to chemicals or flood waters and needs to be rinsed.
- Medications and medical records stored in a waterproof container and a first-aid kit. A pet first-aid book is also a good idea.
- Cat litter box, litter, litter scoop and garbage bags to collect all your pets' waste.
- Sturdy leashes, harnesses and carriers to transport pets safely and to ensure that your pets can't escape. Make sure that your cat or dog is wearing a collar and identification that is up to date and visible at all times.
- Carriers should be large enough to allow your pet to stand comfortably, turn around and lie down. (Your pet may have to stay in the carrier for hours at a time.) Be sure to have a secure cage with no loose objects inside it to accommodate smaller pets—who may also need blankets or towels for bedding and warmth as well as special items, depending on their species.
- Current photos of you with your pets and descriptions of your pets to help others identify them in case you and your pets become separated—and to prove that they are yours once you're reunited.
- Written information about your pets' feeding schedules, medical conditions and behavior issues along with the name and number of your veterinarian in case you have to board your pets or place them in foster care.
- Other useful items include: Newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags, grooming items, and household bleach.