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The City of New Orleans

Mayor Mitchell J. Landrieu

Pet Ownership and Disaster Preparation

Preparing and dealing with disasters as a pet-owner requires special advance preparation and consideration, both before and during any disaster or emergency. Your pets' survival during a disaster largely depends on advance emergency planning you do today.   Pets are members of the family and must be treated as such each step of the way.

  • MAKE A PLAN: When you make your emergency plan, know who will have responsibility for locating and transporting (if need be) your animal(s) and have a backup in place in case that person cannot reach your home 
  • GATHER SUPPLIES: Just like any member of your household, your pet needs an emergency kit.  This kit should include water, food medicines (daily but also things like de-worming or monthly pills, just in case), a litter box, extra tags if you have them, a can opener for canned food, a toy or two, vet information, and any other supplies you might need if you had to evacuate.  This kit should be able to cover your pet for at least three days.
  • LEAVING TOWNIt is important to note that many places do NOT take pets, and you must plan ahead for this contingency.  DO NOT, under any circumstances, leave your pet behind.
    • If a hurricane or other disaster requires an evacuation from your home, and you are able to drive your family and pet(s) out of town, you will need to plan in advance where you can go with a pet. If you plan to board your pet somewhere, please note most kennels require your vet's medical records and you should arrange to have this ready in advance
    • If you require City Assisted Evacuation to leave town and you have a pet, please note:
      • Small pets (about 15 pounds) that can be held on your lap or can fit in a lap carrier can ride with you on the bus. Larger animals, aggressive animals, pets that are hard to control, or multiple animals cannot all ride with you to the train station.
      • If you have a pet that cannot ride the bus, provisions will be made to get your pet to the Union Passenger Terminal. You will stay at the pick-up location with your animal until it is picked up.
      • When you register at the City Assisted Evacuation pick-up points, you will be asked to register your pet’s information as well. You and your pet will be assigned an ID number that will allow state officials to track where everyone in your family is going, including your pet. ​

Want To Know More? 

Check out FEMA's "Planning for your pets" and "Caring for Animals" for excellent additional resources, tips and tricks for preparing for disasters and emergencies with pets, as well as the Red Cross' "Pet and Disaster Safety" checklist. Other useful contacts:

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Last updated: 8/5/2014 1:51:36 PM

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