Keeping Your Pets Safe During National Disasters

August was national disaster preparedness month and with a hurricane having just left Texas and one about to hit Florida we thought that now was the best time to discuss safety for your pets before, during, and after a storm. The strategies and tips listed below can be used for any type of storm, from tornadoes to hurricanes, so read on to make sure that you and all of your furry family members are prepared for a national disaster. It should be noted that a majority of the resources listed below are courtesy of our friends at and FEMA.

There are steps you can take before, during, and after a storm to help your pet through this scary period. But sadly, most pet owners aren’t ready. In a study published by the AKC, it was found that only 61% of pet owners have a pet evacuation plan. Only 61%? This is troubling as 97% of pet owners would take their pets with them in case of an evacuation. What does this mean? This data shows us that most people view their pets as family and would take them with in the case of an evacuation, but only a little over half of pet parents have thought through the logistic and realities of evacuating with a pet.

Evacuating with a pet or keeping a pet safe during a storm is not as easy task as you might think. While the study did show that 91% of owners say they have a copy of their pet’s vaccination records, 79% have their AKC registration papers, 93% have an extra leash, and 89% have extra dog food that’s not enough to keep your pet healthy in a disaster.

In the same study, 22% of those who did not have an evacuation plan for their pet said it is because they live in a geographic location that isn’t a likely target for terrorism or is not susceptible to natural disasters or other disasters, while over half (52%) said they

would like to have an evacuation plan but didn’t know how. Additionally, while a majority of owners had vaccination records and extra food and water on hand for their pets, three-quarters (76%) did not have the items assembled in a portable pet disaster kit in the case of an immediate evacuation.

So what does this all mean? It means that most Americans want to either take their pet with them or have a kit prepared in the case of a national disaster, but few either know how or have taken the time to assemble said kit. Well, in the name of national disaster preparedness month and for the love of pets we’ve assembled a general outline of everything you need to know about being prepared for a national disaster when you own a pet.

Make an Emergency Plan

Being organized before a national disaster hits is the most important step to national disaster preparedness month. Disaster can strike at a moment’s notice, make sure your entire family is ready by creating an emergency plan ahead of time. Start by asking yourself the following four questions:

When answering these questions, you’ll need to consider the individual needs of each member of your household, including your pets. Here are some prompts to consider:

Sign up for alerts and warnings in your area

There are three types of warning and alerts that you can receive when it comes to a national disaster.

Learn your evacuation zone and have an evacuation plan

Conducting a simple Google search or contacting your local emergency management officials will provide you with information on which evacuation zone you live in. We found a partially complete list of states who are more prone to evacuations here.

Prep For Travel For Your Pets

When traveling with your pets, you’ll need quite a few items. We recommend that create a disaster box for each of your pets. You can use a simple plastic tub to store all of these items year round, then if disaster comes, simply load the box up in your car, and you’ll be set. Or, if you need to evacuate quickly and will be doing so without your car or on government transportation this box will be an easy way for you to find what you need the most for your pet right quickly. Your portable pet disaster kit should include:

Amass Your Knowledge

It’s important to plan as much as possible when it comes time to evacuate. Learn the following about your surrounding area to be better prepared.

Be Prepared With PetPlace

No one can predict when disaster will strike, so being prepared ahead of time can save you both time and heartache. With over 10,000 vet approved articles, we take pride in being one of the largest online sources of pet information. Keep your eyes peeled as we delve deeper in national disaster preparedness month and steps you can take to be fully prepared before, during, and after a national disaster.