In Case Of Emergency

Author: Emily Burt, Nursing Team

February 17, 2012

Emergency cat

Natural disasters (and man-made ones, as well) strike without warning. If we had an earthquake, do you have a plan for your cats? Many people make emergency plans for their families and don’t remember to take pets into account. Here are a few suggestions for emergency plans that can help make a bad situation just a little less stressful.

First, it is important to make sure any emergency workers are aware that there are pets in the home. We recommend a rescue alert sticker that can be placed in a very visible place (such as by the front door of the residence) which gives you a space to write how many pets are in the household.

Make sure your pets have a safe place to go in the event of an evacuation. Not all emergency shelters will accept pets. Find hotels that are not in your immediate area which will allow pets or speak with friends and family who are not in your immediate area about whether they would be willing to take in your pet in the event of an evacuation. Don’t leave your pets behind. If it isn’t safe for you, it isn’t safe for them.

Do you have an evacuation kit for yourself? Be sure to have one for your pet as well and keep them both together near an exit. Wondering what to include? Here are some suggestions:

  • Phone numbers for your regular veterinarian and an emergency clinic outside the immediate area
  • 3-7 days' worth of food (rotated regularly)
  • Bottled water (rotated regularly)
  • Disposable litter pans and litter
  • Food and water dishes
  • Recent photographs
  • Copies of medical records
  • blanket
  • Carrier
  • Supply of any medications which your pet may need (rotated regularly).
  • Proper identification of your cat is also critical. We advise microchipping all pets, but a tag with your name and contact info as well as that of your veterinarian is also important

While disasters usually take us unaware, a little preparation goes a long way.