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Pets and disaster

If you evacuate, the best way to protect your pets is to evacuate them, too.
Leaving pets behind, even if you try to create a safe place for them, is likely to result in them being injured, lost or worse.

Have a safe place to take your pets

Red Cross disaster shelters cannot accept pets because of state regulations and other considerations. Service animals that assist people with disabilities are the only animals allowed in Red Cross shelters.

  • Keep a list of pet friendly places, including phone numbers. Ask if no pet policies could be waived in an emergency at hotels or motels or a friends apartment complex. 
  • Ask relatives, friends or others outside the affected area whether they could shelter your animals in their homes. 
  • Bring all pets into the house when an emergency begins so that you wont have to search for them if you have to leave in a hurry. 
  • Make sure all dogs and cats are wearing collars and securely fastened, up-to-date identification. 

Birds should be transported in a secure travel carrier. Provide a few slices of fresh fruits and vegetables with high water content. Have a photo for identification and leg bands. Bring plenty of paper towels to collect waste in the bottom of the birds cage.

Snakes can be transported in a pillowcase but they must be transferred to more secure housing when they reach the evacuation site. Take a water bowl large enough for soaking as well as a heating pad.

When transporting house lizards, follow the same directions given above for birds.

Small mammals (hamsters, gerbils, etc.) should be transported in secure carriers. Take bedding materials, food bowls and water bottles.