Your pets and disaster preparedness

Everyone with pets should have a disaster plan in place for their animals in the event of a disaster or emergency. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends that pets should not be left behind.

Have a portable pet disaster supplies kit

This kit should include:

  • All medical records, including proof of vaccination and prescriptions, in a waterproof container
  • First aid supplies
  • Medications if needed
  • Information on feeding schedules and diet requirements
  • Description of any medical conditions or behavior problems
  • Name and phone number of your veterinarian in case you have to foster or board your pets
  • Sturdy leashes, harnesses and/or carriers to transport pets safely
  • Food and water
  • Bowls
  • Can opener and spoon if needed
  • Cat litter/pan/scoop
  • Toys
  • Bedding

Make sure your pets are properly identified

  • Make sure identification tags, including licenses, are up to date and are securely fastened on your pet’s collar
  • If your pet has a microchip (electronic identification), keep the information with the medical records in your pet emergency supplies kit
  • Have recent photographs of your pets with the medical records in case the animals get lost

Have a safe place to take your pets

Remember: Red Cross and other public shelters often cannot accept pets because of state health and safety regulations.

  • Keep a list of “pet friendly” places
  • Ask hotels and motels if their “no pets” policy can be waved in an emergency
  • Ask friends, relatives and others outside the affected area if they could shelter your animals
  • Keep a list with 24-hour phone numbers of boarding facilities and veterinarians who could shelter animals in an emergency
  • Animal shelters may be already overburdened caring for animals, so this should be a last resort

For More Information:

Associated Program: 

 Emergency Preparedness & Response

Animal Disaster Emergency Tips for Pets Contacts

North Dakota State Board of Animal Health

600 East Boulevard Ave. Dept. 602 Bismarck, ND 58505-0020
701-328-2655 1-800-242-7535