Disaster Planning & Evacuation
The Navajo County Animal Care and Control Division recommends that you prepare, practice, and update a disaster plan with your family, and assemble emergency supplies ahead of time. As a part of an overall plan to protect your family members, the following recommendations can help reduce the risk of harm to pets and livestock:
- Maintain a pet emergency kit with sufficient supplies for each pet. (The following recommended items are typically available at pet supply stores or from your veterinarian.)
- A leash, harness, or pet carrier (large enough for your pet to stand and turn around in), and a muzzle for any dog known to be aggressive or defensive around people or other animals. Also, include a stake and tie-out for each dog.
- A properly fitting leather or nylon collar with securely affixed license and rabies vaccination tags (for dogs). We also recommend an ID tag listing your address and phone number (cell phone numbers are best).
- Dogs and cats should wear a collar and tag at all times, whether or not they normally go outdoors, and all animals should have some type of identification.
- Microchip your pet for permanent identification, and keep your information current with the microchip company and your local animal shelter database.
- Transportable containers with at least a three days supply of water and (preferably dry) pet food, and a stable, unbreakable water bowl or dispenser and sturdy food bowl or feeder. Include a manually operated can opener and plastic can lid for canned food.
- A copy of current veterinary records, including rabies and wellness vaccination certificates, and at least a week's worth of any needed medicines and supplies - in a waterproof container. (Proof of current vaccinations may be required by boarding facilities).
- A pet first aid guide and supplies, including wound cleaning, dressing, and bandaging material.
- Supplies to collect and dispose of pet wastes, e.g., plastic bags, scooper, cat litter, etc.
- Several recent photographs of your pet kept in a waterproof container (in case your animal gets lost).
- Start a buddy system with people in your neighborhood who will check on your animals in case you're away from home during an emergency. Consider including authorization in your veterinarian's file for your "buddy" to request emergency veterinary treatment for your animal(s) in your absence.
- Locate and map kennels, veterinary facilities, or other boarding facilities and pet-friendly lodging in multiple local locations. Have multiple plans for multiple locations, as to where to take your animals in case of an evacuation.
- NEVER leave your pet chained outside and, if you evacuate your home, DON'T LEAVE YOUR PETS, you may not be able to return to care for them for an extended period of time. Structural damage to your home or animal enclosure may enable your pet to escape, or permit other animals, pests, or the elements to enter and endanger the pet.
- Maintain an accessible and secure list of phone numbers and addresses of local organizations that may be able to provide emergency assistance, including your veterinarian, animal control department, humane society, agricultural association, feed store, state/county veterinarian, and the American Red Cross.
- Listen to local emergency broadcast radio stations for information on emergency shelters and holding areas that may be available to temporarily house your pets and livestock. Also find trusted sites or vetted media sources including Navajo County's social media pages at Navajo County Facebook Page, Navajo County EM Facebook Page, NCSO Facebook Page, and Navajo County Twitter Page for emergency updates
- Determine and map primary and alternate evacuation routes and temporary boarding sites or livestock holding facilities in advance.
- Horse owners should ensure that a halter and lead line for each horse is kept on or near its enclosure gate and owners of any livestock should post emergency contact information in a conspicuous place where such animals are situated.
- Make arrangements to ensure that suitable vehicles, trailers, handlers, and drivers are available to transport livestock. Facilitate the evacuation of these animals by getting them familiar with transport vehicles ahead of time.
- Ensure that horses and other companion animals have microchip identification and that all animals have some identification.
- If evacuation is prudent, do it earlier rather than later. Disaster-related weather, visibility, and/or road conditions could present additional challenges to transporting livestock.
- If large animals cannot be evacuated, determine whether they can be moved to an available shelter or allowed to remain in an outside enclosure, based on the level and type of disaster and the reliability and location of the shelter or enclosure.