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Before a Disaster: Plan for Your Pets - Pet Care & Safety - Friends of the Palo Alto Animal Shelter
Pets Emergency Plan

Before a Disaster: Plan for Your Pets

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Other parts of the world are prone to floods, hurricanes, fires – our specialty is earthquakes. No one who lived here in 1989 has forgotten what he felt, what we experienced then. We have been told we could expect another significant quake within the next 30 years, and one of greater magnitude. That was 24 years ago. Maybe we are on borrowed time.

Most of us who are paying attention already have our family emergency kit organized. Water, food supplies, toilet and hygiene items, warm clothes, blankets etc. But what about our pets?

We must ask ourselves – will the dog and cat come with us if we have to leave the house for our own safety? If we must go to a shelter that doesn’t allow animals, will they have to remain in our house, garage? If not, what shelter can they go to, how will they be cared for? Do I have a backup plan for caring for my pet? How will I find them afterward?
Pet Safety Sticker by Friends of the Palo Alto Animal Shelter

First step: Get a Rescue Alert Sticker

FoPAAS made this sticker for your home. This easy-to-use sticker will let people know that pets are inside your home. Make sure it is visible to rescue workers. Come and get your free sticker at our table at Downtown Farmer’s Market.  

Remembering most of the city workers, the fire and police we depend on to help us in time of trouble, will not be able to reach us – most live in other cities. If roads and bridges are down, how will they get here? We should expect to be on our own for up to 5 days after the event.

We should be prepared for all possibilities. Have a kit set up, preferably a crate or other carrier where you can place your pet quickly. Have all his documents, including his vet’s name, any special health concerns, meds, and also a photo of you with your pet for identification purposes. Most people have their pets micro-chipped but make sure that crate contains an extra leash and collar with his tags.

Here is a list of items that should be included in the pet carrier, including the Pet Emergency First Aid Kit.

This should be ready and stored in an easily accessible location.

  • Crate with soft clean bedding
  • Food – kibble, cans with easy open tops and dishes for food and water
  • Gallon jug of water with screw on top
  • Cat litter pan and litter
  • Doggie bags, newspapers, paper towels
  • Current photo of you with your pet to help identification if separated
  • Name and number of your vet and any medical conditions. I.e.: diabetic animal requiring shots
  • Meds and med records stored in waterproof envelope
  • Extra leash and collar or harness
  • Booties to protect little feet from broken glass
  • A small familiar toy to comfort the animal
  • Pets should always be wearing collars with all up to date tags
Pets Emergency PlanPets Emergency Plan
Very important to remember: any catastrophic event is hard on your pet. The sounds, the energy, your own fear, is recognized by the animal and they will be as traumatized just as we are. We must make an effort to calm their fears, create as much normalcy for them as possible, while taking care of all the members of your family.

Pet Emergency First Aid Kit

  • First aid manual for pets
  • Exam gloves
  • First aid tape
  • Tweezers
  • Blunt tip Scissors
  • 4 gauze pads 7x7cm
  • 4 gauze pads 5x5cm
  • 3 gauze rolls
  • Saline Solution
  • 8 Antiseptic Wipes
  • 2 Wooden Tongue Depressors
  • Reusable Woven Cloth Triangle Bandage
  • Instant Cold Pack
  • 2 Patch Adhesive Bandages
  • Elastic Bandage
  • Emergency Blanket
JeremyAbout the Author
Jeremy Lindston Robinson, our Vice President

Photo Credit: The U.S. Army