Including your pets in emergency planning
During this time of uncertainty, it’s important to have a plan in place for your pets if you are unable to care for them.
Here's what you can do to help ensure your pets are cared for in your absence:
1. Post a rescue alert sign
This sign will let people, including emergency personnel, know that pets are inside your home. Put the sign somewhere visible, like on or near your front door. State the number and types of pets you have as well as where in the home they typically live. If you must evacuate with your pets, and if time allows, write “EVACUATED” across the stickers. Download a sample pet alert sign.
2. Gather information about your pets
A care directive is a document that identifies who you’ve chosen to take care of your pets in an emergency and how to reach them. It also includes a description and photos of your pets. You should sign the document with a statement giving permission to your selected caregiver to make medical decisions on your behalf. Download a sample pet care directive.
You should also display a copy of your pet care directive with or near your rescue alert sign. This could be in a window or attached to the inside of your front door.
3. Prepare a disaster kit for your pet
Include everything your pet will need for a few weeks, from food and prescriptions to leashes and bedding. It will be faster and easier to gather your pet’s items if you have them all together and ready for an emergency.
Other helpful information
The Department of Homeland Security has tips for keeping your pets and animals safe.
The Centers of Disease Control also has information about taking care of your pets during an emergency.
Last updated Apr 6, 2020