Disaster Readiness for Your Pet

Here in Florida, we deal with hurricanes, sinkholes, floods, and all types of devastating disasters. While each type of disaster requires certain measures to ensure the safety of both you and your pets, here are three tips that are essential for all of them.

Emergency Supplies

No matter the event, there are certain supplies that should be packed and ready for your pet in case of emergency. 3-7 days’ worth of canned and/or dry food, plenty of water, and feeding dishes are the basics. Depending on the type of pet you have, you may need to include specific items.

For dogs, it’s good to have an extra leash packed, as well as some chew toys and disposable trash bags for cleanup. For cats, definitely include toys, scoopable litter and disposable litter trays.

Up-To-Date Identification

Anything can happen during emergencies. If at any time your pet becomes separated from you, it’s essential that you can be reunited as easily and quickly as possible. That’s why the ASPCA recommend microchipping your pets. It is a proven and permanent solution to successful pet identification.

The chip is small and easy to place, implanted directly into your pet’s ear. As long as you keep your contact information up to date, most shelters have chip readers that will be able to read and identify your pet’s chip.

If, for any reason, your pet is not microchipped, make sure she has up to date pet tags. It is important to note that tags and collars can fall or break off. In that case, if your pet is not microchipped it will be that much more difficult to find her.

Evacuation Destination

Some extreme emergencies may require you to evacuate your home. In these instances, you will need to plan ahead of time to find a safe destination for both you and your pet to take refuge. Not all evacuation shelters or hotels allow pets, and if your safe haven is the house of a family or friend, they may not be able to take in your pet either. So you must research and make a list of pet shelters that can take in your animal in the event of an emergency.

Speak with your veterinarian during your pet’s next check-up, we can also provide you with a list of reputable shelters that can take your pet in. Whatever you decide, do NOT leave your pet behind. If your home or neighborhood is no longer safe for you, it is not safe for your furry friend.


Disasters can be scary, but it is possible to take back some control by making sure you are well-prepared before emergencies occur.