Pet Emergency Preparedness

Are you prepared to help your pet during an emergency?

We urge pet owners to prepare today to reduce the amount of stress you and your animal will go through when disaster strikes.

Shelters and government agencies will be involved in disaster relief and will not be able to care for the animals impacted by a disaster.

Here are 8 important disaster preparedness tips for pet owners:

Keep your pet's license current.  Pets with outdated licenses may not be reunited with owners. When you move or change phone numbers, go to PetData, Inc. and update the information. 

Double up on ID. In addition to wearing the license tag, your pet should be microchipped. You can “chip” your pet at Peninsula Humane Society/SPCA, for $30.  No appointment is necessary.

Have two current photos of your pet, in case you need to post a “Lost Pet” flyer, and create a one-page document describing diet, medicines, unusual behaviors, aversions and distinguishing features of your pet.

Establish two friends (one local, one out-of-the-area) who can help care for your pet in the event of a disaster. The neighbor should be someone you trust with a copy of your house key. The out-of-area friend should be willing to house your pet for up to a week. Human shelters, such as those set-up by the Red Cross, will not be able to house your pet.

Secure your house inside and out. Repair or replace loose fence boards or gates before a big storm hits, and earthquake-proof any tall furniture.

Familiarize your pet with a carrier or crate, as you may need to use one to transport your pet during an emergency. If your pet associates the crate or carrier with something positive, like trips to the dog park, it will be more comfortable when you need to use it.

Create your own “human” disaster prep kit. If you can’t help yourself, you won’t be able to help your pet. For ideas or more information, visit

Keep a short list of pet-friendly hotels where you live or where you plan to travel. Some chains are “pet friendly.”


Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA
12 Airport Blvd., San Mateo, CA 94401
650.340.7022 - Hours 11-7 Monday-Friday and 11-6 Saturday & Sunday

Animal Control & Licensing
225 37th Avenue, San Mateo, CA 94403
650.573.3726 - Hours 8-5 Monday-Friday