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Office of Emergency Services
855 N. San Pedro St.
San Jose, CA 95110

Ph: (408) 794-7055

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Pet Preparedness

As a pet owner it is important to prepare you AND your pet in case disaster strikes.

Some disasters will cause you and your pets to be stranded in your home for hour to days at a time. You should ALWAYS have the following items in your home in case you are stranded there for a period of time with your pet:

  • Extra food/treats
  • Bottles of water for you and your pet
  • Waste removal bags/extra litter and box
  • Extra leash and collar
  • Medications/supplements your animal is currently taking (make sure not expired)
  • Small, pet friendly first aid kit and pet first aid information

If you need to evacuate, you should ALWAYS do your best to take your pet with you. If you shouldn’t be there, then neither should they!  Have a “Go-Bag” ready at all times so you and your pet can evacuate at a moments notice. 

The following items should be in your “Go-Bag”

  • Food for a minimum of 7 days
  • Bottle(s) of water
  • Food and water bowls
  • Treats/toys to keep your pet occupied
  • Waste removal bags/litter and litter box
  • Extra leash and collar with ID tags
  • Bedding or blanket for your pet to sleep on
  • Small pet first aid kit with pet first aid information
  • Copy of rabies certificate and other vaccine records
  • Medications/supplements your animal is currently taking (make sure not expired)
  • A pre-printed flyer with you and your pets information in case you have to leave your pet at a shelter temporarily (you may want to include information for alternate contacts who can pick up your pet if needed)
  • A photo of you and your pet for identification purposes
  • A pet carrier that can safely hold your pet (it is recommended that you keep your supplies in the carrier so you just need to grab and go with it)
  • List of hotel chains that are pet friendly

When evacuating with your pet, you may have to leave your pet at a shelter set up for animals while you go to the temporary shelter set up for people.  Make sure you have anything your pet may need while away from you, and have identification information for your pet so you can be reunited after the disaster.

NOTE: Some hotels that are not pet-friendly may make exceptions during times of disaster. 

If you are forced to leave your pets behind, you should do the following:

  1. Leave plenty of food out for your pet.  If you have multiple pets leave out as much food as possible in multiple locations around your home to prevent the pets from fighting.
  2. Leave out bowls of water.  Prop open the bathroom door and leave the toilet seat up—this could become a life-saving water source for your pet
  3. Make it known that you left your animals à Mark your house in a way that others know your pets are there.
  4. Leave a sealed waterproof bag or container nailed to your front door with all your pets information (name, age, description, if they are friendly, etc) and how to contact you.

It is always recommended that you GET YOUR PET MICROCHIPPED

All shelters and vets will scan animals brought in for a microchip. This is the best way to ensure you and your pets are reunited after a disaster, especially if you become separated.  Almost any animal you have for a pet will be able to be microchipped. 

Keep a piece of paper with your pets microchip number and the company’s phone number on it.  You may need the number to prove the pet is yours in times of disaster. Call the microchip company as soon as you can to report if your pet becomes lost.

Basic pet first aid kit should include:

  • Gauze and non-stick gauze pads
  • Non-cling Vet Wrap bandages
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Tweezers
  • Scissors
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Painkiller (ask your vet for a recommended pain killer and dosage for your specific pet.  PAINKILLERS CAN KILL PETS if they are given the wrong kind or dosage)
  • Pet first aid and CPR book, available for purchase at many petstores, bookstores, and online

Note: It is also possible to purchase pre-assembled pet first aid kits.