For many of us, our pets are like family members and when an emergency hits, we want to do what’s best to make sure they’re taken care of and safe. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) offers these tips to get you, and your animals, hurricane ready.

First, make photocopies of medical records, take up-to-date pictures of your pets, and gather a two-week supply of any medicine your pet requires. Place all of those items in a waterproof container.

Get a Rescue Alert Sticker

This easy-to-use sticker will let people know that pets are inside your home. Make sure it is visible to rescue workers, and that it includes:

  1. The types and number of pets in your household
  2. The name of your veterinarian
  3. Your veterinarian’s phone number.

If you must evacuate with your pets, and if time allows, write “EVACUATED” across the stickers.

Arrange a Safe Haven

If you are not able to take your pet or pets with you, make sure they have the proper provisions to weather the storm at a friend’s home or at a boarding facility. The ASCPA stresses, you should NOT leave pets behind. If it’s not safe for you, it’s not safe for your pet.

  • Contact your veterinarian for a list of preferred boarding kennels and facilities.
  • Ask your local animal shelter if they provide emergency shelter or foster care for pets.
  • Identify hotels or motels outside of your immediate area that accept pets.
  • Ask friends and relatives outside your immediate area if they would be willing to take in your pet.

The ASPCA Also Recommends:

  • 3-7 days worth of canned (pop-top) or dry food
  • Disposable litter trays (aluminum roasting pans are perfect)
  • Litter or paper towels
  • Liquid dish soap and disinfectant
  • Disposable garbage bags for clean-up
  • Pet feeding dishes
  • Extra collar or harness as well as an extra leash
  • Bottled water, at least 7 days worth for each person and pet
  • A traveling bag, crate or sturdy carrier, ideally one for each pet
  • Flashlight
  • Blanket (for scooping up a fearful pet)
  • Especially for cats: Pillowcase, toys, scoopable litter
  • Especially for dogs: Extra leash, toys and chew toys, a week’s worth of cage liner.

Get more information about your pets and emergency preparedness from the ASPCA.