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Pocket Pets -
Birds - Reptiles - Horses
Pets and Disasters
Pets enrich our lives in more ways than we can count. In turn,
they depend on us for their safety and well being. Here’s how you can be
prepared to protect your pets when disaster strikes.
for a short video on protecting your pets in an emergency.
Assemble a Kit for Your Pets
Whether you are away from home for a day or a week after a disaster, you’ll
need essential supplies for your pets. Keep a separate kit for your pets
next to your own emergency supplies kit. The kit for pets should include:
• Medications and veterinary records
• Sturdy leashes, harnesses and/or carriers to transport pets safely
and ensure that your animals can’t escape
• Current photos of your pets in case they get lost during a disaster
• Copies of vaccination and animal license records
• Food, potable water, bowls, cat litter/pan and can opener
• Information on feeding schedules, medical conditions and behavior
• The name and phone number of your veterinarian
• Pet beds and toys that are easy to transport
Have a Safe Place to Take Your Pets
Plan ahead! If you are evacuated to an emergency shelter your pet
will not be able to come with you because of state health and safety
regulations and other considerations. Service animals who assist people with
disabilities are the only animals allowed in shelters. Even the most
trustworthy pets may panic, hide, try to escape or even bite or scratch
during disasters or when they are transported to a safe place. So be
prepared before disaster strikes.
• Contact hotels and motels to check their
policies for accepting pets and whether those policies include restrictions
on the number, size and species of pets. Ask if “no pet” policies could be
waived in an emergency. Keep a list of pet-friendly locations, including
phone numbers, with your other disaster information and supplies.
• Ask friends or relatives in nearby regions if they would be willing
to shelter your animals temporarily in case of emergency.
• Ask a neighbor in advance if he or she would be willing to take
your pets if you are not home when an evacuation order is announced.
• Prepare a list of kennels and veterinarians that could shelter
animals in an emergency; include 24-hour phone numbers.
• Ask local animal shelters if they provide emergency shelter or
foster care for pets during or after a disaster.
• Make sure your pets have tags with your phone number and their
names in addition to any required license tags.
Small animals (hamsters, rabbits, gerbils, etc.) should be transported in
secure carriers suitable for maintaining the animals while they are
Bring bedding materials, food bowls and water bottles.
• Transport your bird in a secure travel cage
• In cold weather, wrap a blanket over the carrier and warm up the
car before placing your bird inside.
• During hot weather, carry a plant mister to mist the bird’s
• Bring a few slices of fresh fruits and
vegetables with high water content.
• Your snake should be transported in a
pillowcase and then transferred to more secure housing when you reach the
• If your snake requires frequent feedings, carry food with you.
• Take a water bowl large enough for soaking.
• Take a heating pad.
• When transporting large lizards, follow the same directions as for
Disaster preparedness is important for all animals but it takes extra
consideration for horses because of their size, surroundings and
• Prohibit smoking in and around stables and
• Keep a fire extinguisher at each stable and corral.
• Make arrangements for a horse trailer in advance in case disaster
strikes. If you do not have your own trailer or do not have enough trailer
space for all your horses, be sure you have several people on standby to
help with evacuation.
• Know where you can take your horses during an emergency evacuation.
• Store your horse’s veterinary papers, photographs and medical
information with your emergency supply kit.
• Attach your horse’s name, your name, your telephone number and your
veterinarian’s telephone number to the halter.
• Keep an emergency supply kit especially for your horse that
includes first aid supplies, water, feed and medications.
• If your horse is unaccustomed to being loaded onto a trailer,
practice the procedure in advance.
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