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Is Your Pet Ready
Preparing Before A Disaster

Not only should you have a Disaster Supply Kit for you and / or your family, you should have a Disaster Supply Kit for your pets. Emergencies come in many forms, so every member of your home should be prepared to go if you are required to leave quickly. Preparing ahead of time is the best way to keep you and your family safe.

Your Disaster Kits should be in easy-to-carry waterproof containers. They should be stored in an easily accessible location.

Your Pet Disaster Kit

In your pet disaster kit, you should include the following:

  • Food and water for at least five days for each pet. Bowls and a manual can opener if you are packing canned pet food.
  • Obtain a pet carrier or crate in which your pet can stand and turn around comfortable in, as well as bedding for comfort.
  • Litter box, litter, scoop and garbage bags for pet waste.
  • Sturdy leashes and harnesses.
  • Medications your pet may require. If your pet is on a special diet and / or medication, check with your vet to see if you can obtain an additional supply to have on hand in your emergency kit.
  • Current photos and descriptions of your pets in case you and your pets become seperated.

Evacuating Other Types of Pets

Identification, medical records, and proof of ownership is just as important for other types of pets. Transportation may require additional attention and care in order to decrease chances of stress-induced illness and death. It is important to keep pets from different sources as separate as possible and maintain hygiene in order to decrease the transmission of disease.

Keep in mind when preparing your pets for an evacuation, "Exotics" (primates, snakes, spiders, insects, etc.) are not permitted at shelters.


  • Birds
  • Reptiles
  • Amphibians
  • Small Pets
  • It is best to transport pet birds in small, secure, covered carriers to prevent injury.
  • If traveling in cold weather, always warm the interior of your vehicle before moving your bird(s) from the house to the vehicle.
  • Transfer your bird(s) to a standard cage after arrival at your evacaution destination, transfer to cage in enclosed room to reduce the risk of escape. Covering the cage may reduce stress.
  • Birds should be kept in quiet areas and not allowed out of the cage in unfamiliar surroundings.
  • Fresh food and water should be provided daily.
  • In your kit you should also include the following:
    • any necessary dietery supplements
    • plant mister for cooling birds in hot weather
    • hot water bottle for warming birds in cold weather
    • supplies to line the bottom of the cage
    • toys

Remember when making your evacuation plan that "Exotics" are not allowed in evacuation shelters.

  • Transport of small reptiles can be accomplished using a pillowcase, cloth sack, or small carrier.
  • If possible, promote defecation before transportating the animal.
  • Transfer your pet to a secure cage as soon as possible after arrival at your evacaution destination.
  • In your kit you should also include the following:
    • essential dietary supplements
    • water bowl for soaking
    • spray bottle for misting
    • extra bags or newspapers
    • heating pad
    • battery-operated heating source / other heat source
    • extra batteries
    • appropriate handling gloves / supplies
  • Since most reptiles don't eat daily, feeding during evacuation may increase stress. Determine if feeding is in the animal's best interest, especially if the container may become fouled.
  • Housing at your evacuation destination should be consistent with that required by the reptile. The enclosure should, if possible, be placed in a controlled environment, away from areas of heavy traffic, loud noises, and vibrations.
  • Make sure the container housing the reptile is escape proof.
  • Transportation of amphibians can be accomplished by using watertight plastic bags, like ones used for pet fish transport, or plastic containers, such as plastic shoeboxes or plastic food containers with snap-on lids.
  • It's best to place only one species, or if possible only one animal, per container.
  • Small ventilation holes should be placed in the upper wall or plastic lid. Smooth the inner surface of the holes with a file or sandpaper to prevent injury to the animal.
  • For terrestrial or semi-aquatic amphibians use a tiny amount of water, or moistened paper towels, clean foam rubber, or moss as a suitable substrate (material used on the bottom).
  • For aquatic species, fill plastic bag one third full of water, then inflate bag with fresh air and close with a knot or rubber band. It is best to use clean water from the animal's enclosure to minimize stress.
  • Monitor water and air temperature, humidity, lighting, and nutrition during your pets evacuation stay.
  • Housing at your evacuation destination should be consistent with that required by the amphibian. The enclosure should, if possible, be placed in a controlled environment, away from areas of heavy traffic, loud noises, and vibrations.
  • Make sure that the container housing the amphibian is escape proof.
  • Take extra water, clean moist paper towels or clean moss in case your containers break or leak.
  • Feeding during evacuation may increase stress. Determine if feeding is in the animal's best interest, especially if the container may become fouled.
  • Transportation of most small mammals (ferrets, hamsters, gerbils, rats, mice, guinea pigs, etc.) is best accomplished using a secure, covered carrier or cage to reduce stress.
  • In your kit you should also include the following:
    • necessary dietary supplements
    • extra bedding materials
    • appropriate exercise equipment