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Emergency Preparedness for Pet Owners: A Comprehensive Guide

Living in the Sunshine State means preparing for its share of unwanted surprises—tropical storms, hurricanes, floods, and the occasional wildfire can all pose threats in our area. When disaster strikes and nature does its worst, keeping your pets safe and secure in the event of an emergency is a necessity.

Whether you’re a seasoned resident or new to Florida, we put together a resource detailing pet-friendly emergency preparedness tips, strategies, and advice on what to pack and what actions to take.

Creating an Emergency Plan

You may have a meeting spot outside your home in the event of a house fire. And you may have practiced evacuating with your family, but have you included your pets in those plans? Mother Nature is unpredictable and can pack a punch, so being prepared when an emergency arises can help minimize stress and anxiety.

  • Talk with your family about expectations during an emergency and give everyone a role.
  • Map out some meeting places in case your family members get separated.
  • Practice any evacuation plans and involve your pet so you know how to proceed for their wellbeing.
  • Have a specified point person who is in charge of any animals in your home.
  • Take a moment to review your pet’s microchip information to make sure memberships are current and the information regarding your pet is correct.

What to Pack in Your Emergency Kit

If the need to evacuate your home becomes necessary, make a list of items your pet will need while you’re away from home. Keep your pet’s “go-bag” stocked and easily accessible so you can grab it quickly before you leave. 

  • Food bowls
  • Pet food and medications
  • Water
  • Leash, collar, and harness (plus an extra set of each)
  • Identification, proof of pet ownership documentation, and pet medical records
  • A stocked pet first-aid kit
  • A pet carrier for smaller dogs and cats
  • Waste bags
  • Contact information for local animal hospitals, animal-friendly accommodations, and your primary care veterinarian

You’ve Come to The Right Place

Animal Emergency Hospital Volusia and our sister hospital Animal Emergency Hospital DeLand are modern, 24-hour emergency hospitals dedicated to helping pets and their families. Our goal is to remain open, even during natural disasters and our veterinarians are always here onsite to provide care.

If you believe your pet may be experiencing a medical emergency, please call our team at 386-252-0206.

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