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Putnam North Animal Hospital
Disaster Preparedness for Pet Owners
Disasters can occur at anytime and anywhere. From 1999 to 2014 there have been
38 federally declared disasters in Oklahoma alone. It is important to make plans 
now to help save yourself and your pets. Included in this handout are tools to aid
you in preparing for a disaster and evacuation.
Remember:  Personal safety is always first!! 

Preparing
Just as you should have an emergency kit for your family, you should also make one 
for your pets. Here is a list of items to include in your kit.

    Safety Kit
    •Pet carrier or cage for each pet
    •Leash, collar and harness for each pet
    •Identification on the pets (tag, microchip)
    •One week supply of food and water
    •Travel bowls for food and water
    •Vaccination and medical records
    •Medications with instructions
    •Emergency contact information (including your veterinarian)
    •Photographs and other proof of ownership
    •First aid kit
    •Familiar toy or blanket
    •Stakes and tie outs
    •Manual can opener
    •Spoon (canned food)
    •Paper towels
    •Disinfectant
    •Litter, litter pan, litter scoop
    •Trash bags 
    •Batteries (flashlight, radio)
    •Flashlight
    •Radio (solar and battery operated)
    •Newspaper for bedding or litter

Important
Your kit should be assembled in an easy-to-carry, waterproof container.  
It should be stored in an easily accessible location away from areas with temperature extremes.
Replace the food, water, and medications as often as needed to maintain their quality and freshness and in accordance with the expiration dates.
Indicate medications that are stored elsewhere due to temperature requirements (refrigeration).  
Consult with your veterinarian for advice on making a first aid kit that is appropriate for your individual pets. It is important that you become familiar with the items in your kit and their uses. Your veterinarian may recommend an animal first aid book to include in your kit.

Click here to go to a printable checklist

Planning
Always take your pet with you when you evacuate. If it is not safe for you to stay in the area, it is not safe for your pet.

Plan ahead in the event that human shelters will not house your pets.
Identify near-by facilities where you can board your pet.
Contact hotels outside your immediate area to locate “pet-friendly” 
ones and keep a list of them in your emergency kit.
Contact friends and relatives outside your area to see if they will 
shelter you and your pets.

If You Are Not At Home
Designate a neighbor to tend to your pets if you are not home. Be 
sure they are familiar with your pets and where your emergency kit 
is located. Give them your veterinary information and file a permission 
slip with your veterinary office authorizing them to seek medical 
treatment for your pet if you are not there.

Identification
You will need proof of ownership to retrieve your pet from a shelter.
Be sure all of your animals have a properly fitting collar with current personal tags and rabies tags.
Collars can slip off so consider having your pet microchipped. Microchips are the best way to safely and effectively identify you pet.
Keep photographs of you with your pet. Be sure any distinguishing markings your pet has are visible.
Give a copy of these photographs to a friend or relative out of town in case your copies are lost.

During An Emergency
Evacuate as early as possible.
Be aware of changing conditions.
Take your emergency kit with you when you leave.

After The Disaster
Monitor your pets closely and keep them leashed. Familiar scents and landmarks may
 be altered and can cause confusion or abnormal behavior.
Survey the area inside and outside your home to identify potential dangers (downed 
power lines, fallen trees, debris).
Release pets indoors only. They could encounter dangerous hazards if allowed to go 
outside unsupervised.
Reintroduce food in small servings and gradually work up to full portions if your pets 
have been without food for a prolonged period of time.

If You Have Lost Your Pet
Visit each shelter daily. You must check in person because you are the only person who 
can truly identify your pet. Bring the photos you have of you with your pet.
Create flyers with your pet’s photo and description, pet’s name, and your contact information.
Notify local veterinary offices, neighbors, local animal control offices and local animal shelters.
When you do find your pet, have it examined immediately for injury or illness.

Helpful Websites
U.S. Government “Ready Pets” brochure: 
Go to www.ready.gov/sites/default/files/documents/files/pets_brochure.pdf

ASPCA: Go to www.aspca.org/pet-care/disaster-preparedness

AVMA: Go to https://ebusiness.avma.org/files/productdownloads/STWF_English.pdf


REMEMBER, YOUR PETS ARE COUNTING ON YOU FOR THEIR SURVIVAL AND SUPPORT!


Information gathered and summarized by Courtney Mason

Evacuee after Hurricane Gustav
Flooding in Miami, Oklahoma
Search operations after 2011 Little Axe tornado
Treating injured search and rescue canine during operations after Moore, 2013 tornado
Shelter operation in New York City following Hurricane Sandy