September is National Preparedness Month … What’s Your Plan?

August 31, 2013

If disaster strikes your home, do you have a contingency plan for your pets?

save my petA disaster doesn’t have to be on the scale of a national terrorist attack to create havoc in your household; even a small issue confined to your family (like a hospital stay) warrants having a preparedness plan for your animals.

In recognition of National Preparedness month, take some time this week to create a preparedness checklist for disasters small and large.

Things to think about:

  • Make sure if you have enough pet food and fresh water to last several days. Not just for you and your family, but for your animals as well.
  • Have pet carriers accessible for each of your pets in case you need to leave your home for any reason.
  • Make sure your pets are trained to get into their carriers quickly and without fuss.
  • Have a first-aid kit packed and ready to go.
  • Make sure your neighbors know you have pets in case you’re stuck away from home.
  • Keep your vet and emergency numbers handy.
  • Talk with the other members of your family about who is responsible for which pets and what to do in case of emergency.
  • Think about where you could take your pets if you needed to board them without a lot of notice.
  • Anything else?

Sharing our homes with pets is an amazing privilege, but one that comes with some extra responsibilities and a bit less flexibility than if you only had to look out for the humans in your family. Make sure you have a contingency plan for your animals if something were to come up so that you don’t miss anything important in a moment of stress or time crunch.

What’s your plan for your pets if disaster strikes? Leave your tips on being prepared in the comments below.



  1. This is something I never thought about until I ended up in the ICU on life support. My macaw and 2 dogs were rotated thru family members with my bird who I had as a baby was bonded to me. All She did was scream for me and she was given, not sold, to a bird sanctuary. An injury to the brain needs quiet and a home care specialist said it was inappropriate to bring me home to that.
    So this is so important to have in place because things happen out of the blue.
    I recently visited the sanctuary and she is absolutely beautiful in flight! I was thrilled and so happy to see her in her blue and gold glory 🙂

    • I had a plan in place for weather related issues, but not for health related problems. When my spouse fell and ended up with a major brain injury requiring surgery. I spent a great deal of time at the hospital and had to call on friends to help with the pets and renovations necessary on the house. The pets were moved to a friends house for the major work in the house, so they would not be exposed to hazards. He has been home for a year now and the pets are back in place. Most adapted well, but there are 2 parrots who cling to me when he is around. I do lie awake at night now worrying how I would evacuate both him and the pets in an emergency…. even with everything placed within reach, it is still a concern since it would all be up to me.

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