Looking after your pets in an emergency
By taking a few small steps you can ensure that you are fully prepared for an emergency.
Preparing for an emergency
Fires, chemical spills, and any number of other emergencies might require you and your animals to have to evacuate your house. Make sure you (and they) are prepared.
Make a grab bag
This should be small enough for anyone to carry, stored in an accessible place, and contain all the items you would need if you had to leave your home in a hurry. You can find at full list of what to include at www.CSWprepared.org.uk/grab-bag.
Make sure to include pet specific items such as;
- A leash or carrier for every animal (if these wont fit in the bag due to size, store them as close as possible)
- Any medication required
- Pet food
- Vaccination certificates
- Litter, paper toweling or bedding as required
Get a Rescue Alert Sticker
Rescue alert stickers notify responders that there are pets in your property in case an evacuation is ordered when you are not home and are available from a number of different retailers online.
Microchip your animals
It’s now a legal requirement to microchip your dogs, but it’s also beneficial for cats and rabbits. In an emergency, strange sights, sounds and smells can cause your pet to become disoriented and lost. A microchip is the single best way to ensure you are reunited.
Find relatives you could stay with
If there are people outside your immediate area you could stay with, or who could look after your pets, get in contact prior to an incident.
Consider trustworthy neighbours
If you have a neighbour who you trust with a house key, consider talking to them about rescuing your pets if you are out of the house when an evacuation order is issued. Take a mobile phone number so you can remind them.
Ensure your pets are vaccinated
Always keep your pets vaccinations up to date. Not only does not doing so expose them to all sorts of biological hazards, it means the majority of animal boarding facilities won't accept them.
In an emergency
If you have to evacuate, remain calm. If there is no immediate risk to life, put your pets in a carrier or on a leash, and collect your grab bag. If you have time, write EVACUATED over your Rescue Alert Sticker.
Never leave your pets at home unless you absolutely can’t help it! If you do have to, bring them indoors and shut them in an upstairs room with 5-7 days of dry food and water. Responders may be overwhelmed for several days before they can even think about looking for pets, and the priority will always be to save human life.
Should a large number of people be evacuated, the council will open a rest centre. All rest centres in this area accept pets, but you may have to leave your animals in their carriers or on a lead. You will also be responsible for their welfare and cleaning up after them.
If the evacuation lasts longer than a day, you’ll be moved into a hotel. We’ll always try and find one that takes pets, but this isn’t always possible. This is where your friends and relatives come in! Otherwise, we hold a list of animal boarding facilities in the nearby area.