Are You and Your Pet Ready For a Disaster?

Lisa's cat is well-prepared for an emergency! Are you? Is your cat?
Liz Clark

As Californians, we enjoy warm weather and breath-taking scenery year-round. However, we also pay a price for this beauty. Our state is constantly at risk to natural disasters such as wildfires, earthquakes and even landslides.

The secret to your pet’s survival during one of these natural disasters is to be as prepared as possible before disaster strikes. Have a plan and assemble an emergency kit for your pet and keep it easily accessible. By being organized and ready for a disaster, you will greatly increase the chance of your pet’s survival.

Lisa Acho Remorenko

Find a Secure Location Ahead of Time

Evacuation shelters rarely accept pets, so you need to plan ahead to make sure your family and pets will have a safe place to take refuge. Again, this should be figured out before a disaster strikes:

– Have a list of hotels that accept pets. If there is a no-pet policy, ask if this can be waived in the event of an emergency. For a listing, go to

– Compile a list of boarding facilities (including veterinary offices) that might be able to shelter animals in emergencies.

Bring Your pet With You When You Evacuate!

The most important decision you make during a disaster is to take your pet with you. Animals left to fend for themselves can easily be injured, lost or killed due to exposure, starvation, predators, contaminated food or water, or accidents.

In Addition to Natural Disasters, You Should Also Be Prepared for Everyday Emergencies

– Who will check on your cat or dog, feed them and give any medications necessary if you find yourself unexpectedly away due to an accident or other family emergency? Find a dependent neighbor and make sure they have access to your house. Also, you’ll want to introduce your neighbor to your pet beforehand to ensure familiarity.

– Have an emergency kit packed and ready to go with your pet in an easy accessible location at all times.

– If evacuation is necessary while you’re away, be certain your neighbor is willing to rescue your pet and knows where you keep your pet’s emergency kit. Arrange to meet at a location set ahead of time.

– If you plan far enough ahead, you can be ready for anything!


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