- Before a disaster strikes:
- Make sure your pet’s license and identification are current and that your pet is wearing a properly fitting collar with an up-to-date ID tag.
- Have your pet microchipped. The Peninsula Humane Society and SPCA will “chip” your pet for a minimal fee.
- Keep current color photographs of your pet in your emergency supply kits.
- Stock your emergency kits with food and supplies for your pet.
- Make arrangements with a trusted neighbor who can care for and evacuate your pet if you aren’t able to return home after a disaster.
- When Disaster Strikes:
- If you are home, get your animal under control as quickly as possible by using a leash or putting your animal in a pet carrier.
- If you are unable to return home, check in with neighbors to make sure your animal is safe.
- If you must evacuate, your animal’s best protection is to be with you. Be aware that emergency shelters for people will not accept animals for public health and safety reasons (except service animals accompanying their owners). In such times, the Peninsula Humane Society and SPCA may set up mobile pet shelters, but space will be limited.
- If you must leave without your pet, bring the animal indoors and leave a large quantity of dry food and water in a container that can’t be tipped over. On your front door, use chalk or a marker to write the number and location of pets in your residence, and the date that you evacuated. Don’t turn your animal loose: pets left to fend for themselves become victims of exposure, starvation, predators and contaminated food or water. Leaving a dog tied up outside is a death sentence.
Emergency Supplies for Your Pets
Assemble a five-day emergency supply kit for your pet’s needs, including:
- Medications and medical records stored in a waterproof container. The records should include vaccination details, the name and telephone number of your veterinarian, and a description of medical conditions, behavior problems and feeding schedule.
- Emergency contact information for yourself and your family
- Pet first aid manual
- Old blankets for warmth
- Food, water, bowls, cat litter and pan, and a manual can opener
- Current photos of your pet
- Plastic bags and paper towels for disposing of animal waste
- Sturdy leashes, harnesses and carriers
- Favorite toys
For more pet emergency preparedness tips, visit:
San Mateo County Health: https://www.smchealth.org/pet-emergency-preparedness
The Humane Society of the United States: https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/pet-disaster-preparedness
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/keeping-pets-and-people-healthy/emergencies.html
California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services: https://news.caloes.ca.gov/emergency-preparedness-include-pets-in-your-evacuation-plans/
American Veterinary Medical Association: https://www.avma.org/resources-tools/pet-owners/emergency-care/pets-and-disasters
American Humane: https://www.americanhumane.org/fact-sheet/pet-disaster-preparedness/
US Food and Drug Administration: https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/plan-prepare-and-protect-your-pet-during-and-after-emergency
American Kennel Club: https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/home-living/do-you-have-disaster-plan-for-dog/