Prep Your Pet

Any month of the year is a good time to prepare but September gets special recognition to remind everyone to take steps to be ready for the next disaster or emergency. When we think of emergency preparedness we usually make plans for ourselves, our family and our neighbors. But we need to remember our other important members of the family…our pets.

Preparing your pet before, during and after an emergency is very similar to preparing ourselves. One of the most important steps of pet emergency preparedness is to have a plan. Taking into account the type of animal you have, the risks your household are vulnerable to and your pet’s needs is a great starting place to building your pet emergency preparedness plan.

Here are some general tips to get your pet emergency ready:

  • Make sure your pet has tags with contact information
  • Keep a current photo of your pet and animal records
  • Be familiar with local shelters. This may come in handy in case your pet goes missing.
  • Make sure you have an emergency kit for your pet. Items in the kit should include pet food, water, medications, veterinary records, blankets, etc.
  • Have an animal carrier and leash

photoEmergencies can be just as scary for animals as they are for humans. If you find yourself and your pets in the middle of an emergency, bring them inside to a safe area immediately. If you are ordered to evacuate, do not leave your pets behind. Evacuate with your animals as safely as you can, without putting yourself in danger. This stresses the importance of pet planning – so that you know you can avoid being in a difficult situation should you be in an emergency.

For those that have large animals that may require more planning in the event of an emergency, contact your local Office of Emergency Services for tips and large animal shelter information to aid in your animal disaster planning.


Additional pet preparedness resources: Pet and Animal Emergency Planning

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Pet Preparedness Video

Cal OES Preparedness Tips

ASPCA Disaster Preparedness

September is recognized as National Preparedness Month which serves as a reminder that we all must take action to prepare, now and throughout the year, for the types of emergencies that could affect us where we live, work, and also where we visit.

Monica Vargas

Monica is an Information Officer for the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). She has been involved in the Aliso Canyon Gas Leak, Valley Fire, Butte Fire, historic drought, Oroville Dam Emergency Spillway Incident, 2017 winter storms, North Bay Fires, Camp Fire, Ridgecrest Earthquake, 2020 Puerto Rico earthquake EMAC PIO, 2020 fire siege and the COVID-19 pandemic. She previously served Cal OES as an analyst in the executive, international affairs and technology offices.

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