Emergencies & Disasters:
What's the difference & what to do
Know the difference and how to act appropriately for the size and severity of an incident.
- An EMERGENCY involves an individual or small number of animals and/or people in one location. An emergency usually occurs without warning.
- A DISASTER involves large numbers of animals and people in multiple locations over a wide area. In a disaster there may be some advance warning for preparation and evacuation.
- For any incident involving animals, be prepared by learning how to cooperate and work safely with first responder and emergency services to help them help you save your animals.
- Download our pocket emergency/disaster checklist PDF
- Para la version in Española
Make Evacuation Plans
- Know best potential shelter locations for horses and livestock, and for cats, dogs, birds, exotics, and other companion animals. Shelter restrictions will vary.
Shelter locations for people and animals will be communicated by local emergency services. Check ahead for availability.
- Identify best travel routes for any scenario -- flood, fire, earthquake, landslide. Have an alternate route as a backup.
- Prepare property access for first responders and animal evac team.
- Make sure all vehicles and trailers are loaded with supplies, equipment, first aid kits, and fuel tanks are full. Stage for quick animal loading and fast getaway. Check hitch, brake and tail lights.
- Ensure halters, leashes, ropes, crates, cages, etc. are ready for each animal.
- Have document binder ready, including: proof of ownership, vet records and contacts, photos, brand registration, microchip info, insurance contacts and proof of insurance, out of area emergency contacts.
- Leave duplicate documentation and info about all animals left behind for first responders and evac team.
- Take lots of water with you!