Emergency Management Reminder for Pet Owners

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MURRAY, UT (Sept. 1, 2015) -- Pet owner tips for natural disasters, emergency preparedness

A little planning on behalf of your household pet or service animal can help reduce injuries, loss and suffering during a disaster. Prepare an emergency response plan and readily accessible kits with provisions for both family members and animals.


While the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guarantees a service animal may remain with the person served in any public accommodation, including a shelter set up in response to a disaster, it does not ensure care, food and water, or veterinary services during an evacuation.


Prepare a disaster kit that contains information and items you can use at home or take with you in case of evacuation. Make sure it is easy to retrieve, contents are checked twice a year and food is replaced every two months. Suggested items include:


  • Food, water and bowls for each pet.
  • Tools and supplies for sanitation and waste cleanup.
  • Extra collars and tags, harnesses and leashes for all pets.
  • Copies of pet medical and vaccination records.
  • A 2-week supply of medication and copy of current prescription.
  • A recent photo of you with your pet.
  • A crate or traveling carrier large enough for your pet to stand up and turn around. Label the crate with your pet’s name, your name and contact information.
  • First-aid kit.


Determine sheltering options for you and your animals.


Some circumstances may force you to leave your pet or service animal behind. This is only a last resort and may decrease the animal’s chances for survival. Clearly post labels for rescue workers about the animals they will encounter along with your contact information


Prevent loss by ensuring your pet is appropriately identified with a collar and tag and permanent microchip with current contact information.


Additional tips to safeguard your animal include obedience training for dogs, keeping your pet’s vaccinations current, keeping current records of ownership, and special equipment or supplies for birds or exotic pets. Purchase a generator if an animal requires a continuous supply of power.


When the disaster has passed, check your animals for injury and exposure to chemicals and contact a veterinarian if needed. Do not remove the animal from its crate until you are in a closed room where it is calm. Do not go out until the environment is safe for you and your pet.


If you and your pet are separated, pay daily visits to local shelters, animal control facilities, veterinary offices and kennels. If you find a stray animal, take it to a shelter or other facility set up for lost and found animals.