The world, as much as we enjoy living in it smothered with doggy kisses or cat cuddles, is an unpredictable place. One day, everything’s going on its usual way; the next, a storm, a fire, a volcanic eruption, or an earthquake—you name it—can happen without us fully grasping the sudden situation. That’s why drills, preparedness trainings, and evacuation plans are necessary. We should be alert and informed of the proper things to do, whenever an accident or a disaster occurs.


As pet parents, our beloved dogs and cats should be included in the planning. Of course, we wouldn’t want to leave them behind! In as much as we prepare for the whole family, we should pre-arrange our furbabies’ needs, too. Lost on where to begin? Read on this guide and arm yourself with these important notes to remember—you’ll need it to keep your furbaby from any harm!


  1. Assemble a pet emergency supply kit. The first thing you’ll need when a disaster strikes is to grab the bag with everything you need in it, especially if the need to evacuate arises. Just like the common Go-bag, arrange an emergency kit for your pet, too! Fill it with three-days’ worth of pet food and water, and include other essential items as well. Toss in your pet’s bowls, regular medication and his medical records, a first aid kit, a collar with an ID tag (make sure to write down your contact details for safety!), a photo you and your pet together, a harness or leash, and a pet litter and some toilet tissue. Keep a pet carrier at reach, too.


  1. Create your evacuation plan. Anticipate, early on, where you’ll go in the event that you have to get away from your home. Seek hotels that can accommodate you with a pet, consider a friend’s or a family member’s residence, or look up for animal shelters that can house your pet in emergency cases. Choose the options where you know they’ll be taken care of.


  1. Discuss it with your vet. Sit down with your pet’s veterinarian and ask for advice on how to handle your furry buddy in such situations. Run through the emergency kit, request for names and contact details of animal clinics or hospitals if you’re going to seek temporary shelter in another city, and consider microchipping.


  1. Include your pet in evacuation drills. When you hear about your building or community’s evacuation drill, have your pet participate to avoid shock due to sudden environment change. Train them for specific commands, get them used to traveling in a carrier, and teach them to behave and stay calm.


  1. Stay informed. During an emergency, keeping tabs on the current situation could be your lifesaver. Remember, you and your pet’s lives depend on you, so be smart and prepared before you do any drastic move. Stay updated on the news through social media or the radio, keep communication lines open, and listen to authorities for evacuation notices.