Pets are domesticated animals and lack the survival instincts that wild animals have. Do not let your pet fend for itself in an emergency situation. Take the time to make a plan and assemble an emergency kit in advance. Some things to keep in mind:
- Keep vaccinations up to date and store a copy of these records in your pet's emergency preparedness kit.
- Keep up to date identification on a collar and tag.
- Keep a current photo of you and your pet in your emergency preparedness kit as this will help reclaim your pet if you are separated.
- Preplan for an evacuation; research safe places for you and your pet (for example a hotel, kennel or friend) in case you cannot take them to an evacuation centre.
- Make arrangements with trusted neighbours who would be willing and able to care for your pets or evacuate them if events prevent you from doing so.
- If a disaster is imminent, bring your pet inside.
If you must leave your pet behind, keep in mind the following:
- Put your pet in a safe, secure room without windows but with adequate ventilation (bathroom).
- Leave enough food to last for seven days.
- Fill up the sink, bathtub and containers that won't tip over easily, with water. Your pet will be under stress and may drink more water than usual. One to two litres of water per day, per pet is a good guideline.
- Leave familiar bedding and toys.
- Don't confine dogs and cats in the same space. Cage small animals and birds.
- Ensure your pet is wearing identification tags.
- Place a notice on your front door that there are pets in the house and where they are located. Provide a contact number for yourself or your vet.
- If you expect flooding, provide your pet with access to elevated spaces or counters.
- Never leave your pet tied outside especially when expecting a flood.
- Check with your community before you are asked to evacuate to determine if planned evacuation centres will accept pets.
- If you must evacuate and have a crate for your animal, be sure to bring it along with you.
- If you have unusual or tropical pets such as lizards and fish, talk to your vet or pet specialty store for advice on protecting them during emergencies.