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Pet Emergency Plans

Updated on July 10, 2008
Golden Retriever
Golden Retriever

Prepare, Plan, & Stay Informed

Have you seen billboards, signs on buses, flyers, and commercials about how important it is to make an emergency plan in case of some sort of disaster? I see at least one of these reminders every single day—and, they do their job by making me aware of how important it is to have an emergency plan.

I never thought about creating an emergency plan for my pets (or including them in my family plan) until recently when we got insurance on our home. We felt more secure with our possessions insured, but I began to think about what would happen to our cats during an emergency. The safety of my cats would be the next priority after ensuring the safety of my human family members.

How do your pets fit into your family’s emergency plan? Do you have a plan for your pets?

How will you keep your pets safe?
How will you keep your pets safe?

Are Pet Emergency Plans Necessary?

Some people consider their pets as part of their family, which is why it is important to have a plan in place in case of an emergency. Creating an emergency plan for your pets will save you a lot of stress during a disaster. And, it could also save the lives of your furry friends.

It only takes a bit of planning and a few steps to create a plan that will make coping with an emergency or disaster easier.

Post a Pet Alert

Rescue workers will be alerted to the presence of an animal inside your home if you place a pet alert sticker or sign in a window or on your door. You can even include your contact information, as well as your veterinarian’s information.


Red Cross disaster shelters don’t accept pets during an emergency.

Pet Safe Places

Make a list of safe places that will welcome your pets on short notice. The list can include shelters, pet boarding facilities, homes of friends and family, or hotels. Try to include places that are outside of the immediate area of your home on the list.

Pet Emergency Kit

Just as you create an emergency kit for your family, put one together for your pets. The essentials of a pet emergency kit include:

Pet First Aid Kit
Pet First Aid Kit

  • First-aid kit
  • One week’s worth of food and water (at least)
  • Feeding dishes
  • Blankets
  • Leashes, harnesses, or carriers
  • Disposable bags for scooping the poop
  • Photo (in case you and your pets become separated)

Learn Pet CPR

You might find yourself in a position where your pet needs some CPR or First Aid, so it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the proper techniques before an emergency situation occurs. A disaster or emergency can be very traumatic for your entire family, but preparing and planning for such situations will help you get through these kinds of events.

A good place to start learning about first aid for your pets is by reading the article: Pet First Aid. The article is written by another HubPages author named Whitney07 who is "all about animals."


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    • apeksha profile image


      9 years ago from India.

      nice hub..nice hub..

    • profile image

      Melinda Lord 

      10 years ago

      Hello Stacie and Other Readers!

      I see that my book, Pet E.R. Guide (A Directory of 24-Hour and After-Hour Veterinary Facilities in the United States) is here! Thank you so much for putting it on this site.

      I wrote the book because years ago, and again more recently, we had a need for medical assistance for our pet and were unable to find help quickly in our travels (and during non-business hours too).

      For any of you who may have purchased the book, I would love to hear your thoughts on it. And, please feel free to share any of your own stories too.

      I wanted to give hope to all pet parents through the publication of this book which Trailer Life Books published, and sells, along with many other places.

      Thank you!

    • Stacie Naczelnik profile imageAUTHOR

      Stacie Naczelnik 

      10 years ago from Seattle

      You can get free pet rescue stickers at this website:

      In fact, I just ordered some.


    • julia.b profile image


      10 years ago from Issaquah, WA

      We're going through a huge Emergency Prep thing at our work and pets are something people commonly forget! Any ideas on where to get those stickers you put on your front window for firefighters/first responders to notify how many pets are inside? Our old vets gave us one with their address, but I'd like to have a blank one.

    • Karen N profile image

      Karen N 

      10 years ago from United States

      That's a really good idea.

    • Eileen Hughes profile image

      Eileen Hughes 

      10 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Very good points that you make in here.   I am just watching an animal rescue show on tv.  And an old lady has 12 small dogs all in tiny cages,  And 3 big dogs and a cat that can hardly walk because its fur is so matted.  Oh it makes me feel sick.  The poor things.  The old lady is doing her best.  But....

      Yes we all love and pets but emergency is something that not many of us think about.  Our dog would never stay in the house, he just follows us everywhere so is out the door behind us.  Thanks for great hub. Full of good advice

    • Stacie Naczelnik profile imageAUTHOR

      Stacie Naczelnik 

      10 years ago from Seattle

      Thanks for the comments everyone.

      Jeff - great points. My cats are very friendly, but take time to warm up to new people. They might hide if a stranger came in, but think they would come into the open if something that scared them, like a fire, happened.

    • Chef Jeff profile image

      Chef Jeff 

      10 years ago from Universe, Milky Way, Outer Arm, Sol, Earth, Western Hemisphere, North America, Illinois, Chicago.

      I have seen those signs at houses advising emergency personnel that pets live within the house. That's a great idea in case of fire or tornado or any other natural disaster, but it also is good for when helpful strangers enter your house, such as if a paramedic needs to save a life.

      My dad used to take our dog to meet the firemen so she would already know them in case of a fire. I just have cats, so they usually don't cause any trouble when a stranger comes in, and they are friendly, so they run toward new people they meet. I hope they would do that as well in case of fire or other danger.

      Great hub and great advice - always protect your pets!

    • Whitney05 profile image


      10 years ago from Georgia

      Great hub Stacie. I saw the link for the first aid hub, and was like hm, let me click it, as was surprised it was mine. I didn't read that it was mine until after I realized it was. lol. Anyway this is definitely great advice.

    • AnteaterLover profile image


      10 years ago from Minnesota

      Nice hub, probably wouldn't of thought of it in years!

    • cgull8m profile image


      10 years ago from North Carolina

      We always think about our emergency pet hardly pay attention to animals, good one Stacie.

    • Jean Ahmann profile image

      Jean Ahmann 

      10 years ago from DeLand, FL

      Having pets and living in Florida I agree with a pet emergency plan especially when one has to evacuate. There are many things one needs to know. I get disgusted when I see pets left at home when the family evacs for the hurricanes.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Thanks for your compassionate hub, really grreat

    • G-Ma Johnson profile image

      Merle Ann Johnson 

      10 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      great ideas here sweetie...and it is so important to not forget about them as we rush to provide for ourselves....never knew they made an emergency kit for very cool..Good christmas gift  ...Christmas in July?? G-Ma :o) hugs


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