Skip Navigation
"Prepare. Respond. Recover. It's time to get Ready LA" - Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
Some of our best friends come in all shapes and sizes…with fluffy hair big brown eyes, long flowing tails, hoofs and claws… even scales that are cool to the touch. They’re our pets, and we love them like members of our family So it’s important to make plans ahead of time for their safety in the event of a disaster Could you save your pet if a fire, an earthquake, tornado, extended power outage or fire put your home or their life at risk? Here are a few things you can do to help.

Pet Owners

Getting it all together
  • If your pet is small enough, purchase a travel carrier so that you can easily take him/her with you if an evacuation is ordered.
  • Make sure that your pet wears a visible identification tag or is microchipped.
  • Keep pertinent contact information handy... it should include phone numbers for your veterinarian, animal shelters, police and fire departments.
  • Keep a minimum two-week supply of pet food and water in your residence at all times.
  • Keep some of your pet’s favorite treats on hand, too, for those times when he or she gets particularly stressed.
  • Always keep a leash in your vehicle, if you have a dog.
  • Start a "buddy system"; with a neighbor so they can check on your pet during a disaster, in case you aren't home.
  • Remember to comfort and reassure your pet during a disaster, as they become frightened, too.

Your emergency kit

Hey, don’t just stock up those important disaster supplies for yourself, your spouse and children. Your beloved pets need a survival kit, too. Here’s a list of what that kit should include:

  • Pet food (in airtight/waterproof container)
  • Water
  • Any pertinent medications
  • Contact information
  • Written instructions for your pet's care
  • Photo of your pet
  • Small blanket
  • Animal toy
  • If you have a cat, you should also include a small shoebox and a bag of sand for a makeshift litter box

When it's time to leave

There’s a knock at your door The fire department or some other emergency professional is telling you it’s time to evacuate. In all the confusion and excitement, don’t forget to provide a safe exit for your pet, too…whether it’s something as small as a goldfish, as popular as a dog or cat, or as big as a horse! Your plans should already have been made… now all that’s left is to get from Point A to Point B. Remember these recommendations:

  • If you can't actually take your animals with you to a friend’s house or a hotel, transport them to your veterinarian’s boarding facilities or to an accredited pet shelter
  • Before leaving the house, put your pet in a carrying case of some kind, if applicable, because animals will often run off when scared; large animals may have to be transported by trailer
  • Remember to put your pet's emergency kit, including important medical papers, in the car
  • Talk soothingly to your pets throughout the ordeal, to calm their nerves.
  • Remember that government-run human shelters will not allow pets

Other Valuable Resources

The more knowledge you have about pet care during a disaster, the better the chance that your pet will survive. Here are some helpful websites that can provide additional information:

Humane Society of the United States
National Association of Professional Pet Sitters
SPCA International

The National Lost Pet Hotline can offer valuable assistance as well. To report a missing pet, call the hotline, at (900) 535-1515. This is a charge call. To report a found animal, call the toll-free hotline number, at (800) 755-8111.

Back to top