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Disaster Preparation 101: How to Protect Your Pets in an Emergency

Written by: Kimberly Ring

If you had to evacuate with your pets, would you be able to move them out quickly?

If you were hospitalized unexpectedly, who would take care of your pets?

This year alone, our Emergency Response Team at the Arizona Humane Society has deployed to two fires and one flood to help evacuated pets right here in Arizona. Sadly, many pet owners are not prepared to evacuate with their pets, and pets are sometimes left behind to fend for themselves. So whether it’s a fire, flood or an unexpected hospitalization, here’s how you can make sure all members of your family are accounted for in an emergency.

1. Make sure your pet has an up-to-date microchip and collar tags
Any time you move to a new home, be sure to update your pet’s microchip profile and collar ID so they can be returned to you if you’re separated. And yes, even with a microchip, it’s important for your pet to wear a collar and tags at all times!

2. Assemble your emergency kit
Pet food, bowls, a can opener, medications—what would you need to grab to care for your pet for at least five days away from your home? Keep these items ready in one location. For ideas, check out our suggested emergency checklist.

3. Practice your evacuation
Can you easily get your cat to go into their crate? How long does it take to get your dog into the car? It’s worth putting in the extra effort now to get them comfortable with being transported so that in an emergency, they’ll be ready to go.

4. Plan for your pet in your absence
Unexpected hospitalizations happen all the time. If you live alone, who would step in to make sure Fido wasn’t left to fend on their own? Make arrangements now by giving your key to a trusted friend, family member or neighbor, and make sure they know your pet’s feeding and medication schedule.

September is disaster preparedness month. Learn more about how to keep your pets safe with these tips from EAMT™ Ruthie Jesus:

For more guidance on how to prepare for an emergency, be sure to check out our disaster resources resources.

September 9, 2021