Disaster Preparedness Considerations for Animal Owners

Southern California is subject to a number of different natural disasters such as wildfire, floods and earthquakes. Other emergencies such as power outages, extreme temperatures, and other events can disrupt normal activities. The best way to protect your pets is to ensure you are prepared for these situations.

OC Animal Care’s primary goals during a disaster are:

  • To minimize animal suffering and loss of life

  • To protect the health and safety of the public

  • To provide for the immediate care, control and safety of animals

  • To provide care and shelter for displaced animals when their owners may have to be housed at a temporary shelter

  • To provide a system for identifying and reuniting animals with their owners after an emergency event


While OC Animal Care may be able to assist in times of disaster, it’s important to understand that, ultimately, animal owners are responsible for the evacuation and sheltering of their pets. For this reason, pets should be included in your evacuation plans. Equally important is that you practice and routinely update those plans. Some things to consider when planning are:

  • Develop an evacuation plan that includes at least two different evacuation routes

  • Locate evacuation sites for you and your pets outside of your immediate area. Check with friends and hotels outside of your community that would be willing to accept you and your pets. Locate boarding facilities or veterinary clinics that may be able to house your pets

  • To limit a pet’s stress, make sure your pets are trained to enter a crate or cage comfortably

  • Maintain a go bag for each pet that includes vaccination and other important medical records, medications, food, collar and leash, photos of your family with your pets for identification purposes, etc. (For additional suggestions please see our Pet Evacuation Kit Checklist)

  • In times of disaster there may be heavy traffic, road closures or rapidly changing situations taking place in your area. When asked to evacuate, please do so as soon as possible and be sure take your pets with you. You may also want to consider partnering with a neighbor who can evacuate your pets in the event you are not home when an evacuation order is given

  • By implementing these tips and others found at ocpetinfo.com you can help to ensure the safety of your pets

  • ASPCA DISASTER PREPAREDNESS - https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/disaster-preparedness