Make a disaster plan for your pet

Have you got a plan to protect your pet during a disaster or emergency? Having a plan for protecting your animals can mean the difference between life and death.

Disasters like floods, fires, hurricanes and earthquakes strike the world's population more than 400 times every year, killing, injuring and displacing millions of people and animals.

World Animal Protection's Disaster Management team protects animals caught up in disasters all over the world and they have offered a few tips to ensure you’re not caught off guard next time disaster strikes. Here are 3 ways to keep your pet safe:

1. Think ahead and create your emergency plan:

Take the most important step by planning ahead, recording your plan and running it by friends and family. Check with your province or municipality in case they have a disaster plan that includes animals as the federal, provincial and municipal governments have different responsibilities when disaster strikes.

2. Keep an emergency kit, with these items:

  • Water — enough water for your animal(s) for at least 72 hours (this can be as much as two litres per animal, per day) and a water bowl or container for them to drink from
  • Food — enough non-perishable food for each animal for 72 hours, and a manual can opener if you're packing canned food
  • Ensure your animal(s) is up to date on vaccines and pack prescription medications and medical records
  • Plastic bags and absorbent towels
  • Reflective collar and leash, and a muzzle
  • Current photo in case your pet is lost
  • Animal carrier, preferably one with wheels
  • Warm blanket
  • Animal first aid kit
  • Name tags to identify your animal(s)
  • Flashlight, in case of a power cut

3. Know your evacuation route:

Pets are part of the family and it is not ok to leave them behind. If it’s not safe for you, then it’s not safe for them. Use the buddy system! Identify a shelter that can host both you and your pet. Pets may not be permitted in public shelters, so you need to plan and agree on a “safe house” or an animal shelter that you and your pet (or just your pet) can go to. Consider a friend or relative in another town or city and make sure they know your plan includes them.

Tell the world: