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Disaster Preparedness

Red Paw  provides emergency assistance here in Philadelphia  – including emergency transport, shelter, and veterinary care to animals involved in fires and other residential disasters.


The Federal Emergency Management Agency has a new brochure with helpful advice for planning for pet care during crises.  [Emergency Preparedness in Pennsylvania] [Pet Owner Guidelines]

Take Steps to Protect Your Pets

Remember that when you leave home because of an emergency, you need to take your pets with you. You need to find a safe place to take your pets.

• Do this research ahead of time, before a disaster strikes.

• Prepare a list of emergency phone numbers, and keep it handy.

• If your pet has any special needs, such as a special diet or medication, or is an exotic pet (including reptiles, birds, fish), consider their requirements in your disaster planning, before you need to evacuate these animals.

• Ask a dependable friend or relative who lives some distance away if you and/or your pets can stay with them during an emergency.

• Contact hotels and motels outside your immediate area to check policies on accepting pets during times of emergencies, and any restrictions they may have.

• Make arrangements with trustworthy neighbors for pet care if a disaster strikes and you cannot get home in time to evacuate.

• Find boarding kennels within and outside your area. Know where they are, who stays on the premises with the animals in the event of a disaster, and what provisions would be made if the kennel should have to evacuate during a disaster.

• Listen for public service announcements during a disaster that may instruct you to take your pets to a temporary emergency animal shelter. For these places, you must do the following:

• Get a portable pet carrier for each pet. These carriers should be large enough for the pet to stand up and turn around in. Get your pet used to the carrier ahead of time. Snakes may be kept in plastic containers, and birds need their cages.

• Have identification for each pet. Be sure your pet ALWAYS wears a well-fitted collar with proper identification, is micro-chipped or tattooed. ID tags and pet carriers should include your phone number(s) as well as the number of a contact outside the affected region.

Plan Ahead Be Prepared

• Keep a leash handy (if appropriate) and get your pet used to it.

• Be sure your pet’s vaccinations are current. Keep the documentation together in a re-sealable plastic bag in your pet’s disaster travel kit, along with name/phone of their veterinarian. Most boarding facilities and emergency animal shelters will require proof of current rabies and annual vaccinations or titers.

Prepare a disaster travel kit

In case you must leave the area with your pet, this kit should include:

 ■ Copies of Pet License, microchip, tattoo and/or ID, photos

of pet (from all angles and with owner(s), and plastic bag with

proof of vaccination (see above).

■ Proper size metal or plastic pet carrier

■ Leashes and obedience aids

■ Non-spill water and food bowls

■ Pet foods, including special diets

■ Motion sickness pills prescribed by your veterinarian, if needed

■ Water in sanitized non-breakable containers

■ Special medications, with instructions

■ Special needs items for exotic pets, such as a heat source

■ Newspapers, paper towels, handy-wipes, can openers,

a flashlight, and blankets


Update on post Hurricane Sandy care for pets – (11/2012)


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