Oregon Humane Society
Emergency Services
  Disaster Preparedness
If you must evacuate, take your pet(s) with you!

Including Your Pet In Disaster Preparedness


The Oregon Humane Society encourages pet owners to keep their pets in mind when preparing for disaster or an emergency.


Assemble a pet survival kit and keep it with you.

  • In order to contain and control your pets during an evacuation, you’ll need a harness and leash for each dog and a carrier for each cat.  In choosing a cat carrier, choose one that is large enough to serve as a temporary apartment for your cat.
  • Pre-pack your pet’s kit in a backpack for ease in transportation and include supplies for at least one week.
  • Include dry food, clumping cat litter, water, serving dishes, small litter box, litter scoop, and plastic bags for waste disposal. Pet first aid kits and vaccination records are a must.
  • Remember any pet medication, favorite toy or bed, and some treats


Tag, microchip, and photograph your pets. Current pet identification is the single most important thing you can do to help ensure that you will be reunited with a lost pet. Make certain your pet (even an indoor only cat) is wearing a collar with visible identification tags with your cell number. A microchip implant is a secure form of identification that can’t be lost. Be sure to carry a photograph with you to increase the likelihood of finding a missing pet. TIP: if your mobile phone has a camera feature, take and store photos of your pets on your phone.


Get to know your neighbors.

Your neighbors may be home when a disaster hits and may be your best resource for evacuating your pets if you are at the office or away from the area and unable to reach your home.

Have an alternative-shelter plan for your pets.

If you must evacuate your home, do not leave your pets behind. If it is unsafe for you to remain, then it is unsafe for your pets as well. In a widespread emergency, the Red Cross sets up shelters to deal with human needs, but only special service dogs are permitted inside. Therefore, you will need to have a separate shelter plan for your pets. Friends and family residing outside your immediate area are a possibility, as are boarding facilities.  Another option is to evacuate the family and pets to a pet-friendly motel: prepare a list with options within a 100-mile radius.


Be a good Samaritan.

Giving temporary shelter to misplaced pets during a disaster saves lives. If you do take in a lost dog or cat, make sure to let rescue organizations know so that the animal can be reunited with its family.


In the occurrence of ashfall:

  • Keep pets indoors. Ash is abrasive and can do permanent damage to your pet's eyes. Also ash can cause respiratory problems for pets and prolong exposure can be fatal for animals.
  • Store extra food and drinking water
  • Keep extra medicine on hand
  • If pets go outside, brush or vacuum them before letting them indoors  
  • Make sure livestock have clean food and water


Other online resources: ASPCA Disaster Preparedness for Pets