Disasters of all types, including natural and manmade, force families to flee their homes seeking safety only to find they cannot return for days or weeks. Even disasters like gas leaks and minor flooding can separate you from your pet. To prevent situations where you are separated from your pet during times of emergencies: Take Your Pet with You!
Create a family Emergency and Evacuation Plan which includes your four-legged family members. Practice the plan with your family prior to a disaster. This will help you successfully shelter in place or evacuate and maintain the safety of your family and your pets.
Pet Planning tips:
- Be prepared for a disaster with a Pet Evacuation Kit including a Pet Evacuation Checklist and supplies. To download the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry’s Emergency Planning Guide for Pet Owners, CLICK HERE. Assemble the Pet Evacuation Kit well in advance of any emergency and store in an easy to carry, waterproof container. Review your plans and kits regularly to ensure that the plans are current and food and medicine are fresh
- Microchip your pet and be sure to register the microchip with your current address and phone number and keep the information up to date
- Identify friends or family in the event that you and your family must evacuate and verify that your pet(s) are welcome too. If not, make alternative boarding arrangements for your pets
- Identify pet boarding facilities in the area of where you plan to evacuate
- Locate pet-friendly hotels along your evacuation route and keep a list in your pet’s emergency kit. Here are several resources: petswelcome.com, www.travelpets.com, www.dogfriendly.com, or www.pettravel.com.
- Monitor local parish office of emergency preparedness, animal shelter or animal control office to get advice and information
- Leaving your pet at home alone places your animal in great danger. If you leave your pets behind, they may be lost, injured or worse. It is against the law to leave a dog or cat tied or tethered outdoors in extreme weather during declared emergency (RS 3:2362)
Pet Evacuation Kit Supply Checklist
- Food and Bowl- 3 to 7-day supply of dry and/or canned (pop-top) food
- Water and bowl - at least a 7-day supply of water
- Medication – 2-week supply
- Medical and Vaccination Records
- Crate or Carrier - a sturdy, safe crate or carrier large enough for your pet to stand, turn around and lie down
- Collar with ID tag, harness and leash
- First-Aid Kit - cotton bandage rolls, bandage tape and scissors, antibiotic ointment, flea and tick prevention, latex gloves, isopropyl alcohol, saline solution
- Comfort items – toys, blanket, treats, etc...
- Picture of your Pet, Picture of you with your pet, list any identifying marks, features
- ID numbers, tag, microchip or tattoo
- Sanitation supplies - pet litter, paper towels, trash bags, hand sanitizer, disinfectant
- Emergency contact info for you
- Emergency contact Info for your pet (vet, pet sitter, etc.)
- Emergency contact for someone outside the disaster area
Large Animal Planning Tips:
- Evacuate animals whenever possible. Map out primary and secondary routes in advance.
- Make available vehicles and trailers needed for transporting and supporting each type of animal. Also make available experienced handlers and drivers
- Prepare livestock trailers
- Check tire pressure and tires for wear
- Test brakes and running lights
- Inspect the overall condition of the trailer
- Ensure all animals have some form of identification. Proof of vaccinations, especially proof of EIA testing for horses
- Bridles, leads and special medications
- Ensure destinations have food, water, veterinary care and handling equipment
- If evacuation is not possible, identify an area on the property that is least likely to flood and where livestock can quickly and easily be moved when a hurricane or other severe weather threatens the area