Don't Forget Your Pets When Disaster Planning

Don't Forget Your Pets When Disaster Planning

AAA Insurance reminds pet owners to plan ahead
Valerie Puma
This cat is safely tucked away in its travel carrier, ready to leave the house.

Pets are vulnerable in times of disaster, but you can keep these special family members safe by planning ahead.

Many of us are away from the house during the day, and disasters are unpredictable. So, it's important to think ahead about how you'll protect your pet in different emergency situations — especially if you will not be able to get to them in a timely manner.

AAA Insurance has put together a few tips to keep in mind when preparing for the worst:

Prepare ahead of time

  • ID tags and collars can be lost, so you may want to microchip your pet.
  • Keep recent photos of your pet with you or on your smartphone in case your pet gets lost.
  • Consider applying a pet rescue sticker to your front window to alert neighbors and first responders that animals may be trapped inside. Stickers are available at no charge through the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and can also be purchased in most pet stores.
  • Get your pets used to leashes, halters, crates and trailers, and include them in your family emergency drills.
  • Create an emergency supply kit for your pet, similar to the one you have for your family. This kit should include enough food and water for 3 to 7 days, medications, garbage bags, a leash, a crate or carrier, and anything else necessary for your pet's survival when evacuating. Add your contact information, your veterinarian's contact information, and your pet's medical records in a waterproof container.
  • Pets are not always allowed in emergency shelters. Take time to research pet shelters, pet-friendly hotels, and relatives and friends who can house your animals if you have to evacuate your home. You may even want to establish a buddy system with a friend who is familiar with pet care and has easy access to your home.
  • Inspect horse trailers regularly to make sure they are in working order in case you need to evacuate.

When disaster strikes

  • If your animals are in the yard: At the first sign of disaster, bring them inside and keep them close by. Animals can become disoriented during difficult times and may run away.
  • Place your pets in a secure location, like a crate or carrier. For many animals, the sound of thunder or smell of smoke is frightening, and cause them to hide under beds or in other parts of the house and your pet could be difficult to find.
  • Latch pets like birds, mice, hamsters, lizards, and guinea pigs in their cages so they can't escape.
This carpool puppy has his leash on and is almost ready to hit the road.


For more information about insuring your most important possessions, and even your pets, talk to a AAA Insurance agent or visit your local branch office.

AAA Insurance