Disaster Preparation for Pets: Don’t Forget the Rest of Your Family

Hurricane and Disaster Preparedness for Your Pet

It’s crucial to have a comprehensive plan in place to ensure the safety and well-being of your furry friends during hurricanes and other emergency situations. By preparing early in the season, you eliminate the stress and frustration of last minute planning.

Plan ahead by filling out the Bay County Animal Services pre-registration form here: Emergency Shelter Registration Form.
This form helps to expedite you and your pets information in the event you are required to shelter for a disaster event.

Explore the additional resources below to make an informed evacuation plan.

Consider Your Evacuation Options

A. Plan to stay

Rest assured, Bay County Animal Control offers various resources for you and your furry friend in an emergency. Whether you choose to stay at home or decide to stay in a shelter, the links below provide guidance to make the best choices for your whole family.

1. Planning Resources for Families
a. Sign up for local Alert Bay Emergency Notification System

b. Sign up for national Emergency Alert System

c. Bay County’s Disaster Preparedness Guide

d. UF|IFAS Bay County EDEN (Extension Disaster Education Network)

e. Florida Sea Grant also offers a Homeowner’s Handbook to Prepare for Natural Disasters

2. Pet Preparedness

a. ASPCA- Disaster Preparedness Checklist
DIY Pet First-Aid Kit
Disaster Planning for Dog Owners
Disaster Planning for Cat Owners
Traveling Bag for Emergency Evacuations

b. Humane Society- Pet disaster preparedness

3. Livestock and Bee Preparedness

a. Florida Disaster Preparedness Guide for Animals and Agriculture – Florida State Agricultural Response Team (SART)

b. Hurricane Preparedness for Beekeepers (YouTube video featured below)

B. Plan to leave

  1. Search for pet friendly hotels:
    a. Panhandle
    b. Alabama
    c. Georgia
    d. Mississippi
    e. Louisiana
  2. Search for pet friendly shelters:
    a. Florida
    b. Alabama
    c. Georgia
    d. Mississippi
    e. Louisiana
  3. Remember to fuel your vehicle(s) prior to leaving to avoid major delays on the highway.
  4. Just as we create emergency plans for ourselves, it is important to have a contingency plan for your pets, too!

Portable Pet Disaster Supplies Kit*

* Local and online retailers offer similar evacuation kit options.
  • Medicine
  • Food, bowls, and a can opener
  • Purified water (NOT distilled- very harmful to pets as a regular water source)
  • Pet health records (contact your vet for copies)
  • Leashes, collars, harnesses
  • Carriers, kennels, pet beds and toys- if easy to transport
  • Cat litter/pan


C. Emergency Management

Bay County Storm Surge and Tide Map

Do you live in an evacuation zone, flood zone or surge zone? Be aware of the zone in your area to keep your loved ones safe. Explore Bay County’s interactive GIS maps here to find out.

For regular updates from Bay County, Florida Emergency Services check out their Facebook page here.

D. You can Help Other Families and Pets!

a. Share this information and your preparedness plans with your family and friends.

b. Check out Bay Animal Control and their Wish List!

Each year Bay County Animal Control relies on donations to maintain smooth operations during hurricane season. The Wish List is a compilation of items most crucial to animals in the shelter’s care during disasters. Follow the link to support Bay County Animal Control or call (850)767-3333 to discuss donation options.

An Equal Opportunity Institution. UF/IFAS Extension, University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Andra Johnson, Dean for UF/IFAS Extension. Single copies of UF/IFAS Extension publications (excluding 4-H and youth publications) are available free to Florida residents from county UF/IFAS Extension offices.


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Posted: June 21, 2023

Category: Disaster Preparation
Tags: Adalia, Adoptable Dogs, Community Resilience, Disaster, Disaster Preparation, Emergency Planning For Pets, FL, Florida, Florida Panhandle, Food Safety, Hurricane, Hurricane Preparation, Including Pets In Emergency Plans, Medical Needs, Panama City, Pet Adoption, Pet Safety During Emergencies, Preparedness, Safety, Storms, Take Your Dog To Work Day, Zollie Young Dog Park

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