Planning for an Emergency With Your Pets

“Better safe than sorry.” Yes, you’ve heard it a million times but, when it comes to the safety of your pets, it’s worth a few minutes spent planning for their safety in the event of an emergency. We just received word that the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS) has made available a free 19-page emergency planning guide with specific recommendations for emergency situations: tornadoes, thunderstorms, hurricanes, floods, winter storms, extreme heat, wildfires, earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanoes.

We downloaded a copy of the PDF guide. It has a great deal of excellent information on specific disasters but we especially liked the appendices in the guide. You’ll find a form you can print out for each animal to include specific information on his immunizations, medications, veterinarian, behavior, and more. It includes a space for your pet’s photo, in case you and your dog have to evacuate and are separated at an evacuation shelter.

There’s also an excellent emergency supply list and an emergency preparedness quiz with handy questions for your family. A separate appendix includes recommendations for families with birds and small pets such as hamsters and reptiles.

Here’s a rundown of the safety steps NAPPS recommends in planning for an emergency evacuation with your pets:

  • Complete pet identification forms for each animal in the household.
  • Familiarize yourself with city, county and state emergency plans.
  • Crate pets before they are able to sense danger, to prevent them retreating to challenging hiding places.
  • Attach alert stickers to your windows and doors to show rescue workers that there are pets in the home that need rescuing.
  • Plan several evacuation routes with your pets in case a route is blocked.
  • Providing plenty of comfort and attention to pets after the emergency has passed.
  • Have an emergency supply kit for your pet, including a pet identification form with photos, microchip number, shot records, food, water, veterinarian and emergency contact information (including one contact outside of the emergency area,) first aid supplies, and a three-week supply of medications. Keep the emergency kit in a sealed, waterproof bag or container.
  • Purchase simple identification tags for each pet; however, since even the best collars can slip off, NAPPS recommends considering a microchip as a backup.

How to Download Your Free Planning Guide:

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About Paris Permenter

Paris Permenter is the founder and co-publisher of LT Media Group LLC. Along with her husband, John Bigley, she edits,, and has authored over 30 books on pets and travel.