Bloomington, IL,
17:22 PM

Emergency Preparedness Extends to Pets

We know how much you love your pet. To help you and your pet get ready for disaster, we’ve put together tips and a checklist of emergency essentials. 


Where will you go? In many disasters, evacuation is part of the experience. Before a disaster strikes, locate the pet-friendly hotels in your surrounding areas. Collect their phone numbers and keep them in your disaster backpack so you can just call and make the reservation. Also, if a disaster is potentially imminent, as in an approaching firestorm or flood, make the hotel reservation before the evacuation. The hotel may give some type of disaster discount as a community service, so be sure to ask.

  • Call local shelters in advance to find out if they provide emergency housing for evacuated pets.
  • If you are going to a public shelter, it is important to understand that animals may not be allowed inside. Plan in advance for shelter alternatives that will work for both you and your pets. Consider loved ones or friends outside of your immediate area who would be willing to host you and your pets in an emergency.
  • Make a back-up emergency plan in case you can't care for your animals yourself. Develop a buddy system with neighbors, friends and relatives. Make sure someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so. Be prepared to improvise and use what you have on hand to make it on your own for at least three days, maybe longer.
  • Animals have instincts about severe weather changes. They will often isolate themselves if they are afraid. Bringing them inside early can stop them from running away. Never leave a pet outside or tied up during a storm.
  • Photos! Before disaster strikes, take photos of your pets and create simple flyers displaying their photo and your phone number in case you get separated. Save the flyers on your phone so you can email them to local pet businesses in case your pet goes missing.
  • Identification! Make sure pets are micro-chipped and wearing a tag with your phone number.
  • Plan your on-foot escape route in advance in case you can’t get to your car and have to walk or run.


Hover over the interactive image below to learn what to include in your pet’s evacuation backpack.

Have your disaster backpack ready to go in an easily accessible place. Items to pack include:

  • An extra leash for each pet
  • Towel or mat for your dog to sit on
  • 1 liter of bottled water
  • Collapsible water bowl
  • Three-day food supply
  • Dog booties
  • Toys and treats
  • Medication (If your pet is diabetic, talk with your veterinarian about packing glucose paste in case you leave without his insulin)
  • Flashlight
  • Extra change of clothes for you
  • Sweater for your pets if your area has cold weather

In a sealed plastic baggie be sure to pack:

  • Veterinary records and phone numbers
  • Pet insurance information
  • Microchip information
  • Photos of your pets with missing pet flyers
  • A list of pet-friendly hotels and resources with phone numbers
  • Pet first aid kit which can be purchased at pet stores or assembled yourself. Include basic first aid items like self-clinging bandaging, gauze pads, antiseptic, hydrogen peroxide, cool pack, thermometer, blunt-end scissors, saline solution, tweezers and a soft muzzle in case your dog needs treatment and becomes fear aggressive.


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