Emergency/Disaster Preparedness for Pet Owners

Evacuees: Find Pet Boarding!

Click Below to view a list of locations offering boarding to pets of hurricane evacuees.

Get Your Pet Micro-chipped!

Hurricanes have a way of displacing pets from their owners. Storm surge, floodwaters, tornados, wind damaged fencing, storm scared animals – hurricanes present so many ways you and your pet can become separated. Identification is a must in emergency situations. Microchipping an animal is simple and safe and creates a permanent identification that cannot be removed. It the most effective means of reuniting lost pets with their owners. Read more here, or contact your veterinarian. Don’t have a veterinarian? Find one now.

Update Vaccinations

To protect your pet from contagious diseases, keep their essential vaccinations up-to-date. This is important even if your pet is kept mostly indoors. Many contagious diseases are airborne and your pet could easily be exposed through an open window. Hurricanes also create specific challenges to a pet’s immune system, such as Leptospirosis – a bacteria found in standing water. Help protect your pet from all the possibilities by keeping vaccinations current. Talk with your veterinarian about an appropriate vaccine protocol for your pet.

Be sure to have your vaccination records with you in the event of evacuation. Pet-friendly shelters often require proof of vaccinations.

Have a Plan

Does your family’s emergency plan include your animals?

Planning and preparation are critical when it comes to protecting the health of your family, pets and livestock. Plan how you will assemble your pets and anticipate where you will go. If you must evacuate, take your pets with you if practical. If you go to a public shelter, keep in mind your animals may not be allowed inside. Secure appropriate lodging in advance depending on the number and type of animals in your care. Consider family or friends willing to take in you and your pets in an emergency. Other options may include: a hotel or motel that takes pets or a boarding facility, such as a kennel or veterinary hospital that is near an evacuation facility or your family’s meeting place. Find out before an emergency happens if any of these facilities in your area might be viable options for you and your pets.

This booklet (also in Spanish) includes detailed information on assembling emergency kits and plans for a wide variety of animal species. You may also find this, this or this helpful.

Emergency Supplies

Be sure to stock essential supplies in case you lose power and water for several days or you are not able to leave due to flooding or impassable roadways.

  • Important documents
  • Medications
  • Personal identification
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • 3 days of fresh water for you and your pet
  • Cash
  • First aid supplies
  • Pet Supplies: crate, food, microchip information, vet records and a current color photograph of you and your pet
  • Fully charged cell phone
Staying Home? Do it Safely!
  • If your family and pets must wait out a storm or other disaster at home, identify a safe area of your home where you can all stay together.
  • Close off or eliminate unsafe nooks and crannies where frightened pets may try to hide.
  • Move dangerous items such as tools or toxic products that have been stored in the area.
  • Bring your pets indoors as soon as local authorities say trouble is on the way. Keep dogs on leashes and cats in carriers, and make sure they are wearing identification.
  • If you have a room you can designate as a “safe room,” put your emergency supplies in that room in advance, including your pet’s crate and supplies. Have any medications and a supply of pet food and water inside watertight containers, along with your other emergency supplies. If there is an open fireplace, vent, pet door or similar opening in the house, close it off with plastic sheeting and strong tape.
  • Listen to the radio periodically, and don’t come out until you know it’s safe.
Additional Resources

Go to GEMHSA’s Ready Georgia website for a very comprehensive hurricane resource, or visit the national ready.gov.


Georgia Department of Agriculture Hurricane Center

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Hurricane Center

Georgia State of Emergency County Contact

Guide for flood repair from the Red Cross

For power outage information click here or here

PETS Act – addresses the needs of individuals with household pets and service animals following a major disaster or emergency