Red Cross Pets and Disaster Safety Checklist

Taking care of your pets if a hurricane strikes!  Pets are an important and meaningful addition to our lives.  Ensuring they are safe in a disaster is as important as taking care of our family.

During a hurricane you will want to stay inside.  Along with keeping your family safe, protecting your pets/animals will also be a top priority.  Pets should be brought indoors during a hurricane, even if they resist moving inside. Plan for the possibility they will need to be restrained, keep all doors and windows closed.  Planning ahead will help you stay calm and ready in the midst of an emergency situation. Having an evacuation plan, and even practicing a mock evacuation with your pet would be very beneficial. Not only will you know what to do, it will help your pet be less nervous as well.   

If you live in a hurricane prone area, having a plan in place when you are away from home or out of town is essential.  Make arrangements with a neighbor or friend nearby to pick up your pet and to bring in their home. Discussing this in advance will make a big difference once an emergency situation actually takes place.  It is also a good idea to write a permission slip in case your pet needs care before you can get to them. If you are gone for an extended period of time such as a vacation and it is in the middle of hurricane season, you may want to look into animal care facilities outside of the danger zone.  This will increase the chances of your pets safety while you are away.

Some animals are too large to go inside.  It is important to look for larger shelters in advance.  If this is not an option you can shelter them in whatever you have available or you will need to turn them loose outside.  

Download the Red Cross Safety checklist form to plan for your pets safety.