May 12

National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day

Disaster preparation:

  • Disasters can be anything from fire, flood, tornado, snow storm or terrorist attack. Preparing your family and pets for emergencies now will help determine your future success in such of an event.
  • Know what disasters could affect your area and which that could call for an evacuation and when to shelter in place.

Think about basics for survival:

  • Animal emergency supply kit
    • Consider having two kits-one for if you decide to stay and a smaller kit that you can take with you.
      • Food-keep at least 3 days of food in an airtight waterproof container
      • Water store at least 3 days of water specifically for your pet
      • Medicines, medical records and vaccine records
      • First aid kit-cotton bandage rolls, bandage tape, scissors, antibiotic ointment, flea/tick prevention, latex gloves, rubbing alcohol and saline solution.
      • Collar with ID tag, harness and leash– Keep copies of your rabies tag/certificate as well as registration.
      • Crate or other pet carrier-carrier should be large enough for your pet to stand, turn around and lie down. Include blankets/towels that can be used as bedding or to keep warm in case of power outage.
      • Sanitation-include pet litter and litter box, paper towels, plastic trash bags, household chlorine bleach (no scented or color safe bleaches).
      • A picture of you and your pet together– If you become separated from your pet during an emergency you will need to be able to prove ownership.  Include detailed information about the species, breed, age, sex, color and other distinguishing characteristics.  Along these lines, ensure that your pet is microchipped and your address and contact information is up to date.

What you will do in an emergency:

  • If you must evacuate, take your pets with you if possible. Please know that some public shelters do not allow pets
    • Plan on how you assemble your pets on short notice. Keep your kits in an area that is easily accessible.
    • Dogs should NEVER be chained outdoors
    • Plan in advance for shelter alternatives such as pet friendly hotels, out of town relatives/friends
      • Also consider a back up emergency plan in case you can’t care for your animals-seek out neighbor, local friend or relative support to help
    • Locate a veterinary or animal hospital in the area where you may be seeking shelter in case of need of medical care.

Prepare for the unexpected:

  • Be prepared to adapt to your personal circumstances and to make every effort to follow instructions received from authorities on the scene.
  • Those that take the time to prepare themselves and their pets will likely encounter less difficulty, stress and worry.

Additional resources for information:


Christine Klippen, DVMDr. Christine Klippen received a BS in Animal Sciences from Colorado State and a BS in Nursing from George Mason University. She attended Colorado State University for veterinary school and has been working in specialty hospitals since 2009. Dr. Klippen is part of our Emergency & Critical Care team and has a special interest in critical care, toxicology, trauma and education.



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