Make a Plan
Never leave your pets behind. They could be lost, injured – or worse. Never leave a pet chained outdoors. Plan options include:
- Ask a trusted neighbor to check on your animals if you are not home
- Identify shelters. For public health reasons, many emergency shelters cannot accept pets.
- Find pet-friendly hotels along your evacuation route and keep a list in your pet’s emergency kit
- Locate boarding facilities or animal hospitals near your evacuation shelter
- Consider an out-of-town friend or relative
- Locate a veterinarian or animal hospital in the area where you may be seeking temporary shelter, in case your pet needs medical care. Add the contact information to your emergency kit.
- Have your pet microchipped and make sure that you not only keep your address and phone number up-to-date but you also include contact information for an emergency contact outside your immediate area.
- Call your local animal shelter or animal control office to get advice and information.
- If you are unable to return to your home right away, you may need to board your pet. Find out where pet boarding facilities are located.
- Most boarding kennels, veterinarians, and animal shelters will need your pet's medical records to verify all vaccinations are current.
Build a Kit
Include basic survival items and items to keep your pet happy and comfortable:
- Food - At least a 3-day supply in an airtight, waterproof container
- Water - At least 3 days of water specifically for your pets
- Medicines and Medical Records
- Important Documents - Registration information, adoption papers, and vaccination documents
- Identification Information - Talk to your veterinarian about microchipping and enrolling your pet in a recovery database
- First Aid Kit
- Cotton Bandage Rolls
- Bandage Tape
- Antibiotic Ointment
- Flea and Tick Prevention
- Latex Gloves
- Isopropyl Alcohol
- Saline Solution
- Pet First Aid Reference Book
- Collar or Harness with ID Tag
- Rabies Tag
- Crate or Pet Carrier - it should be large enough for your pet to stand, turn around, and lie down
- Litter & Litter Box
- Newspapers or Potty Pads
- Paper Towels
- Plastic Trash Bags
- Household Chlorine Bleach
- Picture - a picture of you and your pet together will help document ownership and allow others to assist you in finding a lost pet. Add species, breed, age, sex, color, and distinguishing characteristics.
- Familiar Items - treats, toys, and bedding can help reduce stress for your pet
If you have large animals such as horses, cattle, sheep, goats, or pigs on your property, be sure to prepare before a disaster.
- Ensure all animals have some form of identification
- Evacuate animals whenever possible – See Equine Emergency Evacuation information below
- Map primary and secondary evacuation routes in advance
- Identify vehicles and trailers needed for transporting and supporting each type of animal
- Ensure handlers and drivers are experienced
- Ensure destinations have food, water, veterinary care, and handling equipment
- If evacuation is not possible, owners must decide whether to move large animals to shelter or turn them outside
- Observe livestock, and look for early signs of disease and injury.
- Severe cold-weather injuries or death primarily occur in the very young or in animals that are already debilitated.
Animals suffering from frostbite don’t exhibit pain. It may be up to 2 weeks before the injury becomes evident as the damaged tissue starts to slough away. Then the injury should be treated as an open wound; a veterinarian should be consulted.
Make sure your livestock has the following to help prevent cold-weather problems:
- Plenty of dry bedding to insulate vulnerable udders, genitals, and legs from the frozen ground and frigid winds
- Windbreaks to keep animals safe from frigid conditions
- Plenty of food and water
Equine Emergency Evacuation sites
- Call in advance for reservations and to check availability
- Current Negative Coggins Test is required
- Questions: Contact Marsha Hewitt, SCDA Equine Specialist, and Equine Evacuation Site Coordinator at 803-734-0106