Evacuating Pets

11/04/2019

Our pets, no matter how small, large, fluffy or scaly, are a huge part of our lives. We love and often depend on them as we would a family member, missing and grieving for them as if they were human. Emergencies happen without warning and all too often our beloved pets can get forgotten when we start planning for the worst, so let's get prepared.

 

Make a Plan

As different animals have unique needs, it's useful to think about what you would do with your pet during an emergency where:

  • You may be confined to your home for any length of time
  • You are unable to return home
  • You're evacuated
  • After an emergency - things may not be the same for you, your family and your home. Always think about your pet's needs during these times

 

Where Can Your Pet Go?

Nobody expects an emergency situation to happen, but if one affected you, would you know where your pet could go to stay safe? Sometimes a simple discussion with family, friends and local council now, could save valuable time and limit stress for you and your pet during an emergency. To ensure you're well prepared, it's always useful to find out:

  • Which family or friends could take care of your pet during an emergency
  • What suitable shelters are located nearby 
  • How your local council could support you and your pet 

If you're taking shelter at home with your pet, have you:

  • Selected a safe room or area for the animal
  • Removed all toxic items from the area (plants, chemicals and items that may be toxic to your pet)
  • Closed off small areas where an animal may hide and become stuck

 

Emergency Grab Bags for Pets

Many of us have an emergency grab bag with our most needed items (food, water, money, passports etc.) but what about our animals? Have you considered what they may need during an emergency? It may be useful to think about:

  • A selfie with your pet - this helps identify the animal as belonging to you during an emergency 
  • Pet insurance / registration documents
  • Vet information
  • Microchip serial number
  • Contact information
  • Boarding information
  • Any specific behaviour or handling advice relevant to your animal
  • Travel containers / vehicles including covers or heating
  • Spare leash or harnesses
  • Food
  • Food and water containers
  • Medicine
  • Waste bags
  • Bedding, toys and blankets

 

When You're Separated from Your Animal

During an emergency it's not always possible for you to be there to look after your pet, which means sometimes we have to trust others to step in and care for your animal when you can't. During these times it's incredibly helpful to have information about your pet readily available. Think about recording your animal's:

  • Daily routine
  • Dietary requirements
  • Exercise times
  • Cleaning regime
  • Medication
  • Important behavioural information 

 

Protect Yourself and Your Pet

Emergencies and natural disasters can put stress on both people and animals, sometimes even contributing to the spread of some diseases. Protect yourself and your pet by keeping as healthy and prepared as possible. 

 

More Information and Resources

For more information and to download a useful emergency pet checklist, visit Northamptonshire County Council's website HERE. The website contains RSPCA flood advice for animals, tells you how to report an animal in distress and more.