Most disaster shelters cannot accept pets because of health and safety regulations. Exceptions are made for service animals.

  • Arrange for a neighbor to check on your pets

    A neighbor in a hurricane resistant building or a faraway friend may take care of pets if a disaster occurs while you are not at home. Order a free animal Rescue Alert Sticker for pets left at home.

  • Keep your pet’s ID tags up to date

    Consider having your pet micro-chipped. Take a photo of the dog, cat or horse with a family member as proof of ownership.

  • Build a Pet Kit

    Make a disaster kit for each of your pets, include the following:
    • Sturdy leashes and/or carriers to transport pets Animal shelters may require owners to provide a pet carrier for each animal.
    • Current photos of your pets in case they get lost
    • Food and potable water, for at least one week
    • Bowls and can opener
    • Cat litter and pan
    • Plastic bags for sanitation purposes
    • Pet toys
    • Information on feeding schedules, medical conditions, behavior problems
    • Immunization records
    • Name and number of your veterinarian in case you have to board your pets

  • Bring all pets into the house

    This way you won’t have to search for them if you have to leave in a hurry.

  • Know that animals react differently under stress

    Outside your home and in the car, keep dogs securely leashed. Transport cats in carriers. The most trustworthy pets may panic, hide, and try to escape or even bite or scratch.

  • Beware of vicious stray dogs

    Because animals are more likely to bite or scratch under stress, it is important to avoid unfamiliar dogs. It is especially important at this time of year that your animals are vaccinated against rabies. is a helpful resource in retrieving (or finding the owner of) a lost pet.

  • Give your pets time to settle

    When you return home, pets need time to settle back into their routines. Consult your veterinarian if any behavioral problems persist.

  • Consider hotels that accept pets

    Visit the Locations page for pet-friendly hotels.