Emergency Preparedness for Pets & Animals

Your pets are important members of your family and should be included in your family’s emergency plan. Advanced planning is crucial, and these basic tips will help you prepare for a natural disaster or unexpected emergency.

  • Have an evacuation plan for your pet. Many public shelters and hotels do not allow pets inside. Know a safe place where you can take your pets before disasters and emergencies happen.
  • Develop a buddy system. Plan with neighbors, friends, or relatives to make sure that someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so.
  • Have your pet microchippedMake sure to keep your address and phone number up-to-date and include contact information for an emergency contact outside of your immediate area.

Visit readysbc.org for up-to-date emergency information in Santa Barbara County:

For animal evacuation information or emergency support, contact the following agencies:

Build a Kit

When building a kit for pets, consider having two kits, one larger kit if you are sheltering in place and one lightweight version for if you need to evacuate. Review your kits regularly to ensure that their contents, especially foods and medicines, are fresh.

Just as you do with your family’s emergency supply kit, think first about the basics for survival.

  • Food: Keep several days’ supply of food in an airtight, waterproof container.
  • Water: Store a water bowl and several days’ supply of water.
  • Medicine: Keep an extra supply of the medicine your pet takes on a regular basis in a waterproof container.
  • First aid kit: Talk to your veterinarian about what is most appropriate for your pet’s emergency medical needs.
  • Collar with ID tag and a harness or leash: Include a backup leash, collar and ID tag. Have copies of your pet’s registration information and other relevant documents in a waterproof container and available electronically.
  • Traveling bag, crate or sturdy carrier, ideally one for each pet.
  • Grooming items: Pet shampoo, conditioner and other items, in case your pet needs some cleaning up.
  • Sanitation needs: Include pet litter and litter box (if appropriate), newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags and household chlorine bleach to provide for your pet’s sanitation needs.
  • A picture of you and your pet together: If you become separated from your pet during an emergency, a picture of you and your pet together will help you document ownership and allow others to assist you in identifying your pet.
  • Important documents such as copies of pet insurance policies and vaccinations saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container.
  • Familiar items: Put favorite toys, treats or bedding in your kit. Familiar items can help reduce stress for your pet.

Tips for Large Animals

If you have large animals or livestock such as horses, goats, or cows on your property, be sure to prepare before a disaster.

  • Evacuate animals earlier, whenever possible. Map out primary and secondary routes in advance.
  • Ensure all animals have some form of identification.
  • Obtain or coordinate necessary vehicles and trailers for transporting and supporting each type of animal. Also, identify experienced handlers and drivers.
  • Ensure destinations have food, water, veterinary care and handling equipment.
  • If evacuation is not possible, animal owners must decide whether to move large animals to a barn or turn them loose outside.

More Information & Support

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