Disaster Planning for Pets

Whether it’s a hurricane, flood or chemical spill, if you have pets, please make plans to ensure their safety during disasters. See the following tips to protect your pets, bearing in mind the two most important factors:

  • Make sure all of your pets are wearing current identification, including proof of current rabies vaccination.
  • Make sure your dogs are wearing current county tags as well.
  • Keep your emergency supplies updated and easily accessible.

Emergency Supply List for Pets

  • Make sure your pet is wearing identification with your current phone number and address. This is extremely important during disasters.
  • Make sure that you have leashes, harnesses, muzzles and pet carriers for dogs and cats and don’t forget the birds, hamsters, gerbils and guinea pigs! Also make sure that all carriers are labeled with proper identification.
  • Keep food and water bowls, cat litter, litter boxes and a three-day supply of food and water accessible. Remember, Mathews County Emergency Shelter will accept pets if they are in carriers and have a current rabies vaccination. You must stay at the shelter with your pets. Also be mindful of the possibility of an extended shelter stay, so be sure and bring "comfort" items or toys for your pets.
  • It is good practice to keep all medical records, medications and a current photograph of your pets in a water tight container. Also keep a phone number of a relative in case you are injured and are unable to care for your pets.

At First Warning

  • At the first sign of impending disaster, make sure all of your emergency supplies are in a central location for easy accessibility.
  • Make sure your pets are indoors and easily accessible.
  • Plan your evacuation route.


  • If you must evacuate, please do it early and take all of your pets, making sure they are in proper carriers for their size. Do not leave any pets behind!
  • Remember to have current identification on your pets and make sure they are up to date on their rabies vaccination.
  • Carry your emergency supplies with you.

If You Stay at Home

If you choose to stay at home during a disaster, keep your pets indoors in appropriately sized pet carriers within an interior, safe room. Don’t forget current identification! Make sure you have plenty of drinking water and food for your pets.

What if I’m Not at Home?

  • If you are away when a disaster strikes, make sure that you have made arrangements with a neighbor or family member prior to leaving. Keep your disaster supplies in a location that is easily found. 
  • Most importantly, keep current identification on your pets and make sure that your pets are familiar with and will be safe with a neighbor or family member. Don’t forget to leave a key with that person.

Following the Disaster

Even after the disaster, keep your pets confined until you are able to check your home and property for damage. Storm debris can be dangerous to your pet.

Evacuation Plans for Livestock

Plans should be made in advance to transport and house your livestock in a safe location. Please do not leave your livestock behind.

Mathews County does not have the facilities nor the equipment to evacuate livestock.