How Pet Parents Can Keep Their Pets Safe in a Natural Disaster

by Lisa Fimberg on October 5, 2020


From fires to floods, hurricanes and tornadoes every year, there are numerous natural disasters that occur throughout the US.  And this year is no different.  It really doesn’t matter where your customers reside, because everyone can be can affected from one or more of these disasters.

Most pet parents will have plans in place for their family if a natural disaster were to occur.  Among those plans, it is equally important that they have a safety plan for their pets.   There are many things pet parents can do to prepare ahead for their pets – whether they decide to stay put or move to a safer location for the duration.

Not only should pet owners have food, water, and the other essential supplies at their disposal, but having a pet first aid kit displayed can be an asset to both your store and your customers.  All these disasters seem to be top of mind!

Below are some reminders that pet parents can have in place to be prepared:

If pet owners decide to leave their home, take their pets with them

While most pet parents would never leave their pets behind, it is important that they are able to transport their cats and dogs.  Crates and carriers should be ready to use if an emergency were to occur. While some cats and dogs might survive on their own for an hour or so, it is never safe to leave their pets behind.

Pet parents should have safety stickers on their doors in case of an emergency

If pet parents decide to leave their home or can’t get back to their house, they should put the “in case of emergency” sticker (like the one offered by the American Kennel Club) that details where rescue workers can take their pets in the event of an emergency or merely that there are pets inside.  These can be hung on the front or back door or even window, and should really be placed on any pet parent’s doors at all times.

Your customers should have a list of local shelters and veterinarians ready

If pet owners end up in a local shelter (for humans) some of them, due to lack of space, might not allow pets.  Pet parents should have a plan in place with some alternative locations where they can house the whole family including their pets.  Can friends or family take them in for a while as well as their pets?  Are there pet-friendly hotels or doggy day care locations nearby where they can all be housed together?

If your customer has more than one pet, they might need to separate them to find the proper housing. Pet parents should make sure they have their pets’ vaccinations and medical records up to date.

If pet owners wait out the disaster at home, plan a safe place for everyone

If the natural disaster allows the whole family to stay together, pet parents should try to find a safe place where all family members and their pets can stay together.  Dogs should have their leashes on, and cats should be in their carriers.  The room should, hopefully, be clear of any windows that might break.  Any pet medications and a supply of both food and water for their family and pets should be within reach and inside containers with the other emergency supplies.

All pets should be microchipped with up-to-date information

Having their pets’ microchipped (with their current address) is the most accurate and reliable way to keep dogs and cats from getting lost.  Up to date pet id tags should also be securely fastened to any dog and cat’s collar in case the dog or pet gets out.  While microchipping is the best assurance for lost pets, a pet id tag will help if any dog or cat runs out in the neighborhood.

Your store might consider putting a list together of the important Items for pet parents to have handy for their dogs and cats in case of an emergency (next to your pet safety kit):

  • A week’s worth of canned or dry food
  • Disposable litter trays
  • Litter or paper towels
  • Disinfectant and liquid dish soap
  • Disposable garbage bags for clean-up
  • Pet feeding and water bowls
  • Pets updated medical records
  • Two-week supply of any medicine their dog or cats require.
  • A traveling bag, crate, or sturdy carrier, ideally one for each pet
  • For cats: Scoopable litter is preferable
  • For dogs: Extra leash, toys, harness, and a week’s worth of cage liner (or newspaper works)

Natural disasters unfortunately are not going away any time soon.  However, if pet owners plan in advance, they will be better prepared in case any emergency does occur.

If your customers have any issues or questions with their pets during an emergency or any other time of year, our agents are happy to help.  Make sure to contact our Success Team: to learn more about our services.



Lisa FimbergHow Pet Parents Can Keep Their Pets Safe in a Natural Disaster