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Floods, storms, wildfires — you can’t prevent extreme weather or disastrous events, but you can take charge of how you respond. These emergency preparedness tips will help keep you and your dog out of harm’s way.

Pack a Pet-Friendly Disaster Bag

Having all of your ducks in a row before the unexpected happens is the best strategy. A grab and go bag, which includes your dog’s essentials, will ensure you’re ready for an emergency evacuation. Here’s a breakdown:

Create an Emergency Binder

It should include:

  • Current photo of you and dog in case of separation.
  • Physical and behavioral description of your pet. Add details that genuinely depict your dog including breed, age, sex, color, and personality traits.
  • Medical records and list of medications. FYI: If you need to board your dog, most kennels require proof of vaccinations.
  • Important papers that establish identity and ownership. Think dog licenses, registration certificates, microchip numbers, and adoption papers.

Essential Pet Supplies for Survival and Comfort

Pack a suitcase or large tote bag with the following:

disaster preparedness

What to Do When Disaster Is Pending

Below is a four-step plan for you and your pet:

  • Keep your pet inside so you won’t have to search for him later.
  • Make sure your dog’s collar is secure, and his tags are up-to-date.
  • Keep your disaster bag within easy reach so you can make a quick exit.
  • Call emergency shelters and hotels to confirm which ones will accommodate both you and your pet.

When to Evacuate

You’ll know it’s time to leave when local officials recommend evacuation.

  • Remember, the safest place for your pet is with you. Extreme conditions can create dangerous conditions for people and animals making it impossible to go back home for days, weeks, or months.
  • Evacuations are super stressful. While it’s easier said than done, staying calm in a crisis will help to relieve fear and stress for both you and your dog.

What to Do If Your Pet Gets Lost?

Yes, it’s every dog owner’s nightmare. Here’s what to do before your pet roams too far.

  • Start searching immediately. First, pinpoint where your dog was last spotted. Then start combing the area within a two-mile radius.
  • Enlist your neighbors and friends. Share the best ways to lure your dog using toys, treats, or commands.
  • Reach out to your microchip registry service and confirm your contact information is up to date. Microchipped pets have a dramatically improved chance of returning home.
  • Report that your dog is missing. Contact your local police department, animal shelter, and humane society. Provide them with your pet’s photo and a detailed written description.
  • Tap the powers of social media. Post your dog’s photo with a detailed alert on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Expand your reach using relevant hashtags. Suggestions include: #lostdog #missingdog #missingpet.
  • Make lost pet posters and distribute them around your neighborhood. Include your contact information and dog’s photo. Don’t forget to mention specific details about your creature including unique markings and behavioral traits.
Get Your Free AKC eBook

Emergency First Aid for Dogs

Even the most responsible pet owner can't always protect their pet from a sudden accident or illness. Getting your pet immediate medical attention can be the difference between life and death. Download this e-book to learn more about what to do in an emergency situation.
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