Emergency Preparedness

Fire, flood, earthquake, extreme weather, human-caused disaster, or emergency of any kind may require you to mobilize your human and animal family and take safety precautions — including a brief absence from your home or even permanent evacuation. Although each type of disaster requires different measures to keep your pets safe, you can be ready for anything by familiarizing yourself with these emergency preparedness steps.

Make a Plan

Step 1: Secure Identification

Step 2: Arrange Pet-Friendly Accommodations

Step 3: Gather Emergency Supplies

Step 4: Know Your Local Resources

Step 1: Secure Identification                                                                                          

  1. Microchips
    Microchipping is one of the best ways to ensure that you and your pet are reunited if you are ever separated. A variety of animals (dogs, cats, rabbits, horses, etc.) can benefit from a microchip. If your pet is already microchipped, contact the chip registry to make sure all of your information is up to date and accurate.
  1. Collars and Tags
    Every dog and cat (whether indoor or outdoor) should wear a collar and up-to-date ID tags at all times, even if they are microchipped. Not everyone has a microchip scanner, but most people do have a phone and can contact you if your pet is found — without having to involve a shelter that, in an emergency situation, may be overburdened.
  1. Rescue Alert Sticker
    These life-saving stickers let emergency responders know that there may be animals inside your home, what kind, and how many. Place stickers in windows near each entrance/exit of your home for easy viewing. To order your free rescue alert sticker, visit the ASPCA website. If you must evacuate with your pets, and if time allows, write EVACUATED across the sticker(s) before leaving your home.

Step 2: Arrange Pet-Friendly Accommodations

In the event of an evacuation, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND! If it’s not safe for you, it’s not safe for them. When it comes time to leave, every moment counts, and many people are caught with no place to take their beloved animals. A little advance planning can make a huge difference in an emergency.         

  • Ask multiple trusted friends and relatives outside your immediate area if they would be willing to take your pet in an emergency. Make sure potential pet caretakers know ahead of time about any illnesses or special care instructions for your animal.
  • Keep an up-to-date list of kennels and veterinarians that would take your animal.
  • Identify hotels or motels outside of your immediate area that accept pets.
  • Compile a list of animal shelters in and around your area that may offer temporary boarding for animals during emergencies or disasters. (Be sure to include the Santa Cruz SPCA.)

Step 3: Gather Emergency Supplies

Keep an emergency kit and supplies handy for each of your pets. Make sure everyone in the family knows where emergency materials are kept. Your kit should be clearly labeled and easy to carry. Refer to the tabs below for a list of recommended items to gather for a variety of pets.

You should also have an emergency kit for the human members of the family. Include batteries, duct tape, flashlight, radio, multi-tool, tarp, rope, permanent marker, spray paint, baby wipes, protective clothing and footwear, extra cash, rescue whistle, important phone numbers, extra medication and copies of medical and insurance information.

Step 4: Know Your Local Resources

                                                                                         

GENERAL EMERGENCY INFORMATION/SERVICES:

ANIMAL EVACUATION ASSISTANCE:

LOCAL PEOPLE WILLING TO HELP:

EMERGENCY PET BOARDING:

Build an Emergency Kit

Dogs

  1. Canned Food/Bowl/Spoon

    Canned dog food lasts much longer than dry food and is perfect for an emergency kit. Choose cans with a flip top or add a can opener to your kit as well as a spoon and bowl for feeding.

  1. Water/Bowl

    Keep at least three days’ worth of water in your kit as well as a water bowl. Large (3 liter +) water bottles work well.

  1. Familiar Blankets/Toys

    Disasters are terrifying to most dogs. Comforting items with a familiar scent can help ease stress in an emergency situation.

  1. Leash/Collar/Poop Bags

    In a rushed evacuation, you may not have time to hunt down your dog’s leash and collar. Keep an extra pair (with a poop bag dispenser attached) in your kit to save precious time.

  1. Up-to-Date Medical Records/Medication

    Most emergency shelters or boarding facilities will require vaccination information for your dog. Keep a copy of vaccination records and any critical pet medication in your kit to avoid a health disaster on top of whatever emergency situation is already occurring.

  1. Current Photo

    Keep several copies of a current color photo of you and your dog. Choose a photo that shows as much of the dog’s body as possible. You may need a photo for “lost” posters, or as proof of ownership.

  1. Jiffy Tags

    These disposable ID tags allow you to easily change your contact information if you are temporarily staying in a different location. A disposable tag can be attached to your pet’s collar alongside the regular ID.

  1. Basic First Aid Kit

    The contents of a basic first aid kit (for humans) will suffice, but kits made just for pets are available for purchase online.

  1. Carrier

    Keeping a carrier in or near your kit is helpful when you need to load a scared animal into a car. A carrier also provides a safe and secure place for your dog to be for periods of waiting or when the outside environment is not safe for animals.

Cats 

  1. Canned Food/Bowl/Spoon

    Canned cat food lasts much longer than dry food and is perfect for an emergency kit. Choose cans with a flip top or add a can opener to your kit as well as a spoon and bowl for feeding.

  1. Water/Bowl

    You should keep at least three days’ worth of water in your kit as well as a water bowl. Large (3 liter +) water bottles work well.

  1. Familiar Blankets and Toys

    Disasters are terrifying to most cats. Comforting items with a familiar scent can help ease stress during an emergency situation.

  1. Litter Box/Scoop/Poop Bags

    Your cat will need somewhere to “go” wherever you go! Disposable cardboard litter pans are great. Don’t forget to include a scoop. Litter is optional, as any scoop of dirt or sand will do in a pinch.

  1. Collar/ID

    Even if s/he doesn’t normally wear one, it’s important for your cat to wear a collar with ID when being temporarily housed in a new place.

  1. Carrier

    Keeping a carrier in or near your kit is helpful when you need to load a scared animal into a car. A carrier also provides a safe and secure place for your cat to be for periods of waiting or when the outside environment is not safe for animals. If your cat cannot be easily loaded into a crate, consider purchasing an Evacsak or using a pillowcase to put the cat into before loading them into a crate.

  1. Up-to-Date Medical Records/Medication

    Most emergency shelters or boarding facilities will require vaccination information for your cat. Keep a copy of vaccination records and any critical pet medication in your kit to avoid a health disaster on top of whatever emergency situation is already occurring.

  1. Current Photo

    Keep several copies of a current color photo of you and your cat. Choose a photo that shows as much of the cat’s body as possible. You may need a photo for “lost” posters or as proof of ownership.

  1. Jiffy Tags

    These disposable ID tags allow you to easily change your contact information if you are temporarily staying in a different location. A disposable tag can be attached to your pet’s collar alongside the regular ID.

  1. Basic First Aid Kit

    The contents of a basic first aid kit (for humans) will suffice, but kits made just for pets are available for purchase online.

Birds

  1. Food/Bowl

    Keep about seven days’ worth of food. Check your kit regularly to be sure the food’s expiration date has not passed. Be sure to pack a bowl as well.

  1. Water/Bowl

    Keep at least three days’ worth of water in your kit as well as a water bowl. Large (3 liter +) water bottles work well.

  1. Carrier and Cover

    Keep a bird travel carrier near your kit and train your bird to load into it. If your bird is not tame, a pillowcase is a gentle way to catch your bird in order to load it into a carrier. Don’t forget to include something to cover the carrier. Birds are much more comfortable in the dark.

  1. Paper Towels

    A roll of paper towels in your kit will provide perfect compact cage liners for your bird in a pinch.

  1. Up-to-Date Medical Records/Medication

    Most emergency shelters or boarding facilities will require vaccine information for your bird. Keep a copy of vaccination records and any critical pet medication in your kit to avoid a health disaster on top of whatever emergency situation is already occurring.

  1. Current Photo

    Keep several copies of a current color photo of you and your bird. Choose a photo that shows as much of the bird’s body as possible. You may need a photo for “lost” posters or as proof of ownership.

  1. Basic First Aid Kit

    The contents of a basic first aid kit (for humans) will suffice, but kits made just for pets are available for purchase online.

Reptiles

  1. Food/Bowl

    Keep about seven days’ worth of food, appropriate to your reptile’s species. Dehydrated reptile foods are helpful in a disaster. Be sure to pack a bowl, as well.

  1. Water/Bowl

    Keep at least three days’ worth of water in your kit as well as a water bowl.

  1. Carrier

    Keep a lightweight reptile carrier near your kit. It should be big enough for your pet to move around comfortably inside, just in case your reptile must live in its carrier longer than expected.

  1. Heating Pad

    Pack a small heating pad to keep your reptile warm. You may not have electricity, but it’s a good thing to have just in case! Be sure to only heat one half of your carrier so as not to overheat your pet.

  1. Up-to-Date Medical Records/Medication

    Most emergency shelters or boarding facilities will require vaccine information for your reptile. Keep a copy of vaccination records and any critical pet medication in your kit to avoid a health disaster on top of whatever emergency situation is already occurring.

  1. Current Photo

    Keep several copies of a current color photo of you and your reptile. Choose a photo that shows as much of the reptile’s body as possible. You may a photo for “lost” posters or as proof of ownership.

  1. Basic First Aid Kit

    The contents of a basic first aid kit (for humans) will suffice, but kits made just for pets are available for purchase online.

Rabbits and Small Pocket Pets

  1. Food/Bowl

    Keep about seven days’ worth of food. Be sure to pack a bowl, as well.

  1. Water/Bowl

    Keep at least three days’ worth of water in your kit as well as a water bottle for your rabbit.

  1. Carrier

    Keep a lightweight rabbit carrier near your kit. It should be big enough for the rabbit to move around comfortably inside just in case your rabbit must live inside longer than expected.

  1. Towels

    Have a few towels in your kit to act as bedding for your rabbit. Towels will also help to keep the rabbit warm in cold conditions.

  1. Hiding Box

    Your rabbit or small pocket pet will likely feel the safest in a small, dark place. A hiding box will help reduce stress during evacuation and help your pet adjust to a new environment.

  1. Up-to-Date Medical Records/Medication

    Most emergency shelters or boarding facilities will require vaccine information for your pet. Keep a copy of vaccination records and any critical pet medication in your kit to avoid a health disaster on top of whatever emergency situation is already occurring.

  1. Current Photo

    Keep several copies of a current color photo of you and your pet. Choose a photo that shows as much of the pet’s body as possible. You may need a photo for “lost” posters or as proof of ownership.

  1. Basic First Aid Kit

    The contents of a basic first aid kit (for humans) will suffice, but kits made just for pets are available for purchase online.

Horses/LivestockLivestockHo

  1. Feed/Buckets

    Keep about seven days’ worth of feed in your kit. Be sure to pack multiple buckets, as well.

  1. Water

    Keep at least seven days’ worth of water in your kit, at least 12-20 gallons per horse.

  1. Up-to-Date Medical Records/Medication

    Most emergency shelters or boarding facilities will require vaccination information for your horse. Keep a copy of vaccination records and any critical pet medication in your kit to avoid a health disaster on top of whatever emergency situation is already occurring.

  1. Halter/Lead

    Be sure to have a spare halter and lead in your kit. Write your name and phone number in black ink on the halter or attach an ID tag.

  1. Current Photo

    Keep several copies of a current color photo of you and your horse. Choose a photo that shows as much of the horse’s body as possible. You may need a photo for “lost” posters or as proof of ownership.

  1. Basic First Aid Kit

    Be sure to create a first aid kit just for horses or livestock. These kits are also available for purchase online.

Fish

  1. Food

    Keep about three to seven days’ worth of fish food in your kit. Vacation feeders are great and last a few days.

  1. Water

    Keep at least seven days’ worth of water in your kit. You want to have enough on hand to keep your fish tank clean and to refill any spilled water.

  1. Travel Tank/Water Conditioner

    Keep a lightweight travel tank near your kit, along with a bottle of water conditioner.

  1. Net

    A net will help you quickly and safely catch your fish in order to transport them to their travel tank.

 Main Shelter Location

2685 Chanticleer Ave.
Santa Cruz, CA 95065
(P) 831-465-5000
(F) 831-479-8530

Hours of Operation

*CLOSED MONDAYS*
Tues - Sun: 11am to 6pm

The Santa Cruz SPCA is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the welfare of animals. We receive no government funding, and depend solely on financial support from our friends. Our organization is not affiliated with any other SPCA or Humane Society.

Tax ID: 94-6171565

© 2017 Santa Cruz SPCA

Mall Adoption Center & Gift Shop

1855 41st Ave. (Near Target Wing)
Capitola, CA 95010
(P) 831-477-7886

Hours of Operation

*CLOSED MON -TUES*
Wed - Sun: 11am - 5:30pm