Know what disasters could affect your area, which could call for an evacuation and when to shelter in place.
Keep a NOAA Weather Radio tuned to your local emergency station and monitor
Remember, during a disaster what's good for you is good for your pet, so get them ready today. if you leave your pets behind, they may be lost, injured - or worse. Never leave a pet chained outdoors.
Make a Plan:
Create a buddy system in case you're not home. Ask a trusted neighbor to check on your animals.
Identify shelters. For public health reasons, many emergency shelters cannot accept pets.
Find pet friendly hotels along your evacuation route and keep a list in your pet's emergency kit.
Locate boarding facilities or animal hospitals near your evacuation shelter.
Consider an out-of-town friend or relative Locate a veterinarian or animal hospital in the area where you may be seeking temporary shelter, in case your pet needs medical care. Add the contact information to your emergency kit.
Have your pet microchipped and make sure that you not only keep your address and phone number up-to-date, but that you also include contact info for an emergency contact outside of your immediate area.
Call your local emergency management office, animal shelter or animal control office to get advice and information.
If you are unable to return to your home right away, you may need to board your pet. Find out where pet boarding facilities are located.
Most boarding kennels, veterinarians and animal shelters will need your pet's medical records to make sure all vaccinations are current.
Pet Evacuation Kit
Be prepared for a disaster with a pet evacuation kit. Assemble the kit well in advance of any emergency and store in an easy-to-carry, waterproof container close to an exit.
Food and Medicine
3-7 days' worth of dry and canned (pop-top) food*
Two-week supply of medicine*
At least 7 days' supply of water
Feeding dish and water bowl
Liquid dish soap
*These items must be rotated and replaced to ensure they don't expire
First Aid Kit
Anti-diarrheal liquid or tablets
Bandage tape and scissors
Cotton bandage rolls
Flea and tick prevention (if needed in your area)
Isopropyl alcohol/alcohol prep pads
Towel and washcloth
Litter, litter pan, and scoop (shirt box with plastic bag works well for pan)
Newspaper, paper towels, and trash bags
Household chlorine beach or disinfectant
Identification papers including proof of ownership
Medical records and medication instructions
Emergency contact list, including veterinarian and pharmacy
Photo of your pet (preferably with you)
Crate or pet carrier labeled with your contact information
Extra collar/harness with ID tags and leash
Flashlight, extra batteries
Favorite toys and treats
Extra blanket or familiar bedding
After the Disaster
Survey the area inside and outside your home to identify sharp objects, dangerous materials, dangerous wildlife, contaminated water, downed power lines, or other hazards.
Examine your animals closely, and contact your veterinarian immediately if you observe injuries or signs of illness.
Familiar scents and landmarks may have changed, and this can confuse your animals.
Release equines/livestock in safe and enclosed areas only. Initial release should take place during daylight hours when the animals can be closely observed.
Release cats, dogs, and other small animals indoors only. They could encounter dangerous wildlife and debris if allowed outside unsupervised and unrestrained.
Release birds and reptiles only if necessary and only when they are calm and in an enclosed room.
Reintroduce food in small servings, gradually working up to full portions if animals have been without food for a prolonged period of time.
Allow uninterrupted rest/sleep to allow animals to recover from the trauma and stress.
The disruption of routine activities can be the biggest cause of stress for your pets, so try to re-establish a normal schedule as quickly as you can.
Comfort each other. The simple act of petting and snuggling can reduce anxiety for both people and pets.
If you notice any signs of stress, discomfort, or illness in your pets, contact your veterinarian to schedule a checkup.
If Your Animals Are Lost:
Physically check animal control and animal shelters DAILY for lost animals. Some emergency response agencies may also use social media (Facebook, etc.) to post information about lost and found animals.
Post waterproof lost animal notices and notify local law enforcement, animal care and control officials, veterinarians, and your neighbors of any lost animals (utilize online resources for lost and found animals).
If your animal is lost and has a microchip, notify the microchip registry that your animal is missing.
Always remember that any first aid administered to your pet should be followed by immediate veterinary care. First aid care is not a substitute for veterinary care, but it may save your pet's life until it receives veterinary treatment.
Cape May County offers two portable, self-sustaining tractor trailers to house pets during an emergency. The first of their kind, at 52 feet each, the trailers can each house nearly 120 animals. Fully equipped with heat, air conditioning, running water and food supplies, these animal shelters provide peace-of-mind to residents, who can be reassured that their pets are safe from harm during an emergency situation. These trailers are placed at designated evacuation shelters; during the emergency, pet owners are then able to care for and comfort their own animals with the assistance of shelter operators.
New Jersey Statutes Annotated. Appendix A. Emergency and Temporary Acts. Chapter 9. National Defense. Article 6. Emergency Powers of Governor. App. A:9-43.15. Emergency evacuation; boarding of public transportation or public transportation service with domestic companion animal
Primary Citation: N.J.S.A. App. A:9-43.15
Country of Origin: United States
Last Checked: February, 2017
This New Jersey law states that in the event that a state of emergency has been declared and an evacuation of any region of the State is in progress, the owner of a domestic companion animal shall be permitted to board any public transportation or public transportation service with the domestic companion animal so long as that animal is under the owner's control by use of a leash or tether, or is properly confined in an appropriate container or by other suitable means, provided that such boarding is authorized by and consistent with the provisions of the State Emergency Operations Plan. Addtionally, all passengers with service animals shall be given priority seating on all means of transportation.
Statute Text [New Jersey Office of Emergency Managment: http://www.state.nj.us/njoem/plan/pets.html] New Jersey Statutes Annotated. Appendix A. Emergency and Temporary Acts. Chapter 9. National Defense. Article 6. Emergency Powers of Governor
App. A:9-43.15. Emergency evacuation; boarding of public transportation or public transportation service with domestic companion animal
a)For the purposes of this act:
"Domestic companion animal" means any animal commonly referred to as a pet that was bought, bred, raised or otherwise acquired, in accordance with local ordinances and State and federal law, for the primary purpose of providing companionship to the owner, rather than for business or agricultural purposes. "Domestic companion animal" does not include livestock as defined in N.J.A.C. 2:2-1.1.
"Public transportation or public transportation service" means rail passenger service, motorbus regular route service, paratransit service, motorbus charter service, and ferry passenger service as defined in section 3 of P.L.1979, c. 150 (C.27:25-3).
b)In the event that a state of emergency has been declared and an evacuation of any region of the State is in progress, the owner of a domestic companion animal shall be permitted to board any public transportation or public transportation service with the domestic companion animal so long as that animal is under the owner's control by use of a leash or tether, or is properly confined in an appropriate container or by other suitable means, provided that such boarding is authorized by and consistent with the provisions of the State Emergency Operations Plan developed pursuant to paragraph (1) of subsection a. of section 18 of P.L.1989, c. 222 (C.App.A:9-43.1) pertaining to the needs of animals and individuals with an animal under their care. The provisions of this act shall only apply to the owners of domestic companion animals who are evacuating from a region of the State affected by the emergency or local disaster emergency as defined in section 3 of P.L.1953, c. 438 (C.App.A:9-33.1). A domestic companion animal may be refused permission to board any public transportation or public transportation service, even if the animal is under the owner's control or properly confined in accordance with this subsection if there is reasonable cause to believe that, due to attendant circumstances, permitting the animal to board would pose a health or safety hazard.
c)All passengers with service animals shall be given priority seating on all means of transportation regulated by this act in accordance with the federal "Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990" (42 U.S.C. s.12101 et seq.). For the purposes of this act, "service animal" shall have the same meaning as set forth in the federal "Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990" (42 U.S.C. s.12101 et seq.) and any regulations under the act.
d)All passengers on any public transportation or public transportation service shall be provided seating before a domestic companion animal may be placed in a seat.