Creating a Pet Evacuation Plan

Every home needs to have an evacuation plan, but especially so if you are living in an area where disasters such as flooding, hurricanes, earthquakes, or fires are frequent. Homeowners will typically create an evacuation plan for the home and practice it regularly with the entire family. Many families, though, neglect to make an evacuation plan for their pets. Below are some steps you can take to add your pets to the family evacuation plan.

  • Assign an adult to evacuate pets: everyone in the home needs to know how they should act in the case of an evacuation. Decide on one adult to be responsible for evacuating the pets. That will allow other family members to focus on their evacuation responsibilities, so everyone knows where they should be when the moment is stressful and potentially confusing.
  • Create an evacuation map: if you ever need to evacuate, it is imperative to know where all the important items are located. If your pets will need a carrier, make sure everyone knows where they are always and keep them there in case of an emergency.
  • Regularly practice the plan: when you have an evacuation drill for your home, include the pets. That way you will know if you need to change your plan in any way. You never know but getting your dog to exit through an open window may be more challenging than you expect.
  • Make plans if you are separated from pets: regardless of how often you practice your evacuation plan, your pet may still take off in the heat of the moment while you are focused on the safety of your family. The best plans include a GPS-compatible tag or a microchip in your pet to find them if that happens.

Your pets are part of your family, so it only makes sense to include them in your home evacuation plan in the case of an emergency.