Protect Your Pets

Everyone can benefit from having a household evacuation plan in place. It's the best way to protect your family in case of disaster, whether it's a large scale natural catastrophe or an emergency that causes you to leave your home temporarily. Every disaster plan MUST include your companion animals! Make sure every member of your family is familiar with the plan.


Keep up-to-date identification on your dog or cat at all times. Make sure the collar is properly fitted. Have a friend's or family member's phone number on your pet's identification tag in case you cannot be contacted.

Current Photographs

Have current color photographs of your pet, showing any distinguishing markings, with your emergency supplies. If you and your pet become separated, these photographs will help identify him/her.

Animal Under Control

If you know a disaster is imminent, bring your pets inside immediately! Get your animals under control as quickly as possible, either on a leash or inside a carrier.

Special Planning Steps

If you evacuate, take your pet!! Taking your pet requires special planning, so take the following steps:

  • Locate a safe place for your pets before disaster strikes. Evacuation shelters generally do not accept animals.
  • Call hotels and motels in your immediate area and a reasonable distance from your home. Ask whether they accept pets, under what conditions, and whether there are restrictions as to the size or number of animals.
  • Call local boarding kennels and veterinarians with boarding facilities. Ask about their ability to house animals in case of emergency and/or disaster.
  • Ask friends or family members whether they will provide foster care for your pets.

Disaster Supplies for Your Pet

  • First aid kit
  • Food/water bowls
  • Health records, including vaccination records
  • Instructions on your pet's feeding schedule and diet
  • Leashes
  • Litter and litter box for cats
  • Medication and any special needs
  • Portable carrier
  • Supply of your pet's food and water in plastic bottles
  • Supply of your pet's regular medications

Leaving Your Pets at Home

If you must leave your pet behind. Leaving your pet at home alone will place your animal at greater risk for injury or loss. If you have no alternative but to leave your pet behind, there are some precautions you must take:

  • Give your pet access to a safe, secure room without windows but with adequate ventilation. Leave enough food for at least three days. A sufficient supply of water is critical.
  • Don't confine dogs and cats in the same space.
  • Make sure your pets are wearing proper identification (a collar and a tag).
  • Place a notice on your front door advising what pets are in the house and where they are located.
  • If you have a bird, leave food in dispensers that regulate the amount of food and supply extra water. Secure cages so they won't swing or fall. Cover the cage with a thin cloth or sheet to provide security and filtered light.

Additional Information

For more information contact: Whitewater Office of Emergency Management at 262-473-0570.