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Red Cross Encourages Pet Preparedness

Pet First Aid
Remember, if a situation isn’t safe for you, it’s probably not safe for your pet.

Californians know that we should plan for disasters such as earthquakes, but not everyone remembers to include pets in those plans. Here are some tips to ensure that you and your four-legged family members stay safe and healthy in the event of a disaster or other emergency.


  • If you have to evacuate your home, do not leave your pet behind. Remember, if a situation isn’t safe for you, it’s probably not safe for your pet either.
  • Know where to go. Unfortunately, due to health and safety concerns, most Red Cross shelters can only accept service animals. Talk to your veterinarian or local animal agency about options before the disaster occurs.
  • Make a Pet Disaster Kit

  • Food and water. Enough for at least three days, but seven or more is encouraged.
  • Bags and paper towels. Pets can be messy and you’ll want something to clean up after them.
  • Extra harness and leash. You may not have time to grab yours before evacuating, or your pet may chew through what they’re wearing.
  • Toys. They’ll help keep your pet occupied during a potentially stressful situation.
  • Medications.
  • Recent photos of your pet. Hopefully, you won’t need them, but they will come in handy if you are separated and need to make “lost pet” posters. Consider placing these, and the items listed below, in a waterproof container or plastic bag.
  • Copies of vital information. If you have to evacuate quickly, having easy access to information such as vet contacts, kennel locations and medical records will be helpful.
  • Learn Pet First Aid

  • Take a Pet First Aid class. Knowing what to do in the initial moments of an emergency situation can be critical.
  • Include a Dog First Aid or Cat First Aid manual in your disaster kit.
  • For more information on how to prepare pets for disasters, the following links offers some additional tips:

  • Red Cross pet preparedness
  • Caring for Animals
  • ASPCA Disaster Preparedness