- Written by Jessica Riel
- Published: 15 July 2015
Those who love animals know that pets are a part of our family. Our furry companions love us unconditionally (even if cats sometimes have a funny way of showing it), and in return we do whatever we can to keep them happy, healthy, and safe.
When it comes to emergencies, it is important to be proactive. Do you have a plan in place to ensure your animal companions’ safety in an emergency? The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) offers recommendations for actions to take before an emergency to keep your whole family – dogs, cats, bunnies, birds, and other animals – safe.
What places are pet-friendly and safe?
Public shelters allow service animals, but many do not give entrance to pets. You should make advance plans to bring your pets to stay with friends or family or in a boarding facility outside of the emergency area. Make a list of the names of these people and places as well as the names and locations of hotels, motels, and campgrounds that are pet-friendly or that waive the no-pet policy in emergencies.
How does your community support it's animals?
Coordinate a buddy system with your local neighbors, friends, and relatives so that if anyone is unable to care for or evacuate a pet, someone else will be available to step in.
Make an emergency kit for your animal companions
Your pets should have their own emergency kits, which you should prepare in advance, including:
- Whatever you need to transport and house your pets: collars, leashes, harnesses, carriers, etc.
- Medications and medical records in a waterproof container
- Food, drinking water, bowls, and litter boxes
- In case of separation: current photos in case; a list of dietary requirements and eating schedules, medical or behavioral issues; your own and your vet’s contact information
- Toys, beds, or other items that provide comfort
Learn more about keeping your pets safe in an emergency
Remember, if you must evacuate your home, take your pets with you! You are key to their survival.
Find steps to take during and after an emergency as well as additional pet and animal safety information in the full guide, “Pets and Animals in Emergencies,” available online.