• May 8, 2024

Ensuring Pet Safety During Evacuations: A Comprehensive Guide

Ensuring Pet Safety During Evacuations: A Comprehensive Guide

Emergencies and disasters can strike unexpectedly, leaving little time for preparation. However, for pet owners, ensuring the safety of their furry family members is a priority. Here’s a detailed guide on how to keep your pets safe during evacuation alerts and orders.
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Pre-Evacuation Preparation

If you receive an evacuation alert, it’s crucial to act immediately:

  • Review Your Emergency Plan: Always have a plan in place for your pets. Know where you’ll go and how you’ll transport your pets if needed.
  • Prepare a Pet Emergency Pack: Include essentials like food, water, bowls, leashes, and waste bags. Keep this pack by the door or in your car, ready to go.
  • Stay Informed: Keep up with local news or emergency broadcasts for updates on the situation.

During an Evacuation

  • Know Your Evacuation Centre: Upon evacuation, head to the designated centre as directed by local authorities. Note that not all centres accept pets, so having prior knowledge is important.
  • Animal Care at ESS Centres: Access for pets can vary. While some centres might not accept pets or provide pet supplies, organizations like the Animal Food Bank are ready to assist by providing pet food and necessary supplies.

If Pets Cannot Accompany You

Sometimes, it might not be possible to take your pets with you:

  • Have a Backup Plan: Know where you can board your pet or arrange for them to stay with friends or family.
  • Carry Vaccination Records: These are often required at boarding facilities or alternative shelters that accept pets.

Leaving Pets Behind

If you absolutely must leave pets behind:

  • Do Not Confine Pets: Allow them to move freely within a safe area so they can manage better on their own.
  • Provide Ample Food and Water: Leave a significant amount of food and water accessible, like a full bathtub or a large storage container of water.
  • Leave a Note: Put a note on your door indicating when you left, your contact information, and details about your pets. This can be vital for rescue teams.


Preparing for an emergency can be stressful, but the safety of every family member, including pets, is essential. By following these guidelines, you can improve the chances of safety for your pets during critical times.