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Evacuating With Your Pets

Release date: 
June 22, 2009
Release Number: 

DENTON, TEXAS -- Family pets should never be left behind in an evacuation. As families in evacuation areas prepare for hurricane season, they also need to plan for the family pet according to state and federal emergency management officials.

Decide now where you and your family will stay if local officials call for an evacuation. Many hotels or shelters may not allow pets. Prepare an emergency kit for each pet in a waterproof, easy-to-carry container. Families evacuating in their own vehicles can use this check list:

  • A secure pet carrier, cage or crate, plus leash and collar or harness for each pet
  • Muzzle (Anxiety and stress can cause any pet to bite. A muzzle serves to protect both the pet and other people.)
  • An up-to-date identification tag on your pet's collar and proof of ownership, such as a picture of you with your pet
  • Veterinary records and medications, such as flea or heartworm treatment, along with emergency contact information
  • One week's worth of food and water for each pet, including dishes, spoon and a can opener
  • Written feeding and medication instructions, including what NOT to feed your pet
  • Clean-up supplies: paper towels, newspaper, kitty litter with pan and scoop for cats, sealable bags for disposing of waste, wet and dry wipes and hand sanitizers
  • Pet toys, bedding and treats

For more information on care for household pets and livestock during evacuation and sheltering, go to:

Get A Game Plan Website:
FEMA Hurricane Preparedness Web page:

FEMA leads and supports the nation in a risk-based, comprehensive emergency management system of preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation, to reduce the loss of life and property and protect the nation from all hazards including natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters.

Last Updated: 
January 3, 2018 - 12:26