Disaster Preparedness for Your Pets

Florida is no stranger to disasters. Whether it’s vicious hurricanes, devastating floods, or sudden sinkholes, every Floridian has a story to tell.

Each type of disaster requires certain measures to keep both you and your pets safe. You may know from watching the news what’s coming, but your pet has no idea, so here’s how you can keep your pet’s stress to a minimum.

Have a Safe Place to Go

Should you need to evacuate before a disaster, make sure both you AND you pets have a safe haven to go to. Do not leave your pets behind. Ever. If it’s not safe for you to be left behind, it certainly won’t be safe for your pets.

Many people mistakenly believe that since they are animals, they will have no trouble surviving. But think about this, what if your pet becomes trapped – there will be no one around to help them. What if your pet escapes your home – where he will be exposed to various life-threatening hazards? Do not put your pet in that kind of position. If your safe haven does not accept pets, make sure you find a shelter or designated caregiver ahead of time that does.

Have Emergency Supplies Ready

You may already know to have a first aid kit on hand, but do you have a kit packed for your pet? Be sure to have an emergency pet kit packed with 3-7 days’ worth of canned or dry food, disposable litter trays, cat litter, pet feeding dishes, water bowls, and disposable trash bags for cleanup.

Scoopable litter, toys, and a comfortable bed (perhaps a pillowcase) are things you should definitely include in your emergency cat kit. For dogs, include an extra leash and chew toys. It’s also a good idea to include photocopies or a USB of your pet’s medical records, in addition to any medicine your pet needs.

Make Sure Pet Identification is Up-To-Date

The ASPCA recommends microchipping your pets, as this is a more permanent form of identification. If for any reason your pet becomes lost or separated from you in any way, you will want to rest assured that he has identification that can’t fall or snap off.


The best way to deal with disasters is to be well-prepared. Don’t wait for a disaster to come before you consider all of our recommendations above. Start preparing now.