Pet Safety in Emergencies | Healthy Pets, Healthy People | CDC – CDC

For information and guidance related to animals and COVID-19, visit COVID-19 Pets and Other Animals.

Emergencies come in many forms: fires, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, violent storms and even terrorism. In the event of extreme weather or a disaster, would you know what to do to protect your pet? Leaving pets out of evacuation plans can put pets, pet owners, and first responders in danger. Even if you try to create a safe place for them, pets left behind during a disaster are likely to be injured, lost, or worse.  Be prepared: make a plan and prepare a disaster kit for your pet.
To get started, familiarize yourself with the types of disasters that could affect your area and consider your options for providing care for your pet(s).
Disasters can happen without warning, so be prepared:
Prepare an emergency kit for your pet ahead of time. Kits should include:
If you don’t have a plan and need information quickly in an emergency, contact:
Local Animal Shelters
Search for local shelters and rescue groups on Petfinder’s Shelter Center. Local animal shelters may be able to offer advice on what to do with your pets if you are asked to evacuate your home.
Local Government
Local government animal control or service agencies can provide guidance on how to protect your pets in an emergency.
Relief Organizations
RedRover shelters and cares for animals displaced by natural disasters and other crises in the United States and Canada. If you need sheltering assistance, please call RedRover at (800) 440-3277 or visit
When sheltering at home with your pet, make sure the room chosen is pet-friendly:
Natural disasters can contribute to the spread of some diseases. Exposure to bad weather conditions, stagnant water, wildlife or unfamiliar animals, and overcrowding in shelters can put your pet at risk for getting sick. Some of these illnesses can be spread between pets and people (also known as zoonotic diseases). Some common disaster-related diseases that pets can pass to people are the following: rabies, leptospirosis, and diseases spread by mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks.
After an emergency, familiar scents and landmarks may have changed. Pets can become confused and lost, so it’s important to keep pets on leash or in a carrier when they’re being transported or when you go outside. Some hazards for pets and people include snakes and other wildlife, especially after flooding, and downed power lines.
American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)
AMVA offers a variety of to assist veterinarians, animal owners, and others interested in the well-being of animals to prepare for animal safety in the event of a disaster.
Through its volunteer-driven RedRover Responders, RedRover shelters and cares for animals displaced by natural disasters and other crises in the United States and Canada. If you need sheltering assistance, call RedRover at (800) 440-3277 or visit their website.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
FEMA is the federal agency that leads the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA has resources for preparing pets for disasters.
The Humane Society of the United States
The Humane Society has disaster preparedness resources for pets and other animals like feral or outdoor cats, horses, and farm animals.
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