Serving Brooklyn's Off-Leash Community

Emergency Evacuation With Pets

From The Brooklyn Animal Foster Care network

We want all our supporters and friends to know that:
Under NYC law, during times of evacuation, a cab driver may not turn down a fare who is bringing a pet along

Under NYC law, an evacuation center must accept any pet as long as it is accompanied by a human and either leashed or in a carrier
For many people, pets are more than just animals - they are part of the family. As members of your family, they should be included in your emergency planning process. A few simple steps to ensure your pet's safety can go a long way when disaster strikes.

Think about where you will go with your pet and how you will get there if you have to leave home during an emergency. In planning for an emergency evacuation:

Arrange for family or friends outside of the affected area to shelter your pet.
Identify animal-friendly hotels/motels outside of the affected area.

Talk with your local veterinarian, boarding kennel, or grooming facility to see if they can offer safe shelter for your pet during an emergency.

Create a Go Bag for your pet or service animal (See Pet Go Bag Checklist).
Practice evacuation plans to familiarize your pet with the process and increase his/her comfort level.

Know your pet's hiding places so you can easily find him/ her during an emergency.

Keep in mind a stressed pet may behave differently than normal and his/her aggression level may increase. Use a muzzle to prevent bites. Also be advised that panicked pets may try to flee.

Pets in carriers are allowed on MTA subways, buses, and trains. When an evacuation order is declared, pets too large for carriers will also be allowed, provided those animals are muzzled and controlled on a sturdy leash no longer than four feet.

The City will announce when this policy is in effect. Bring supplies to clean up after your animal. Only legal animals will be allowed. As a reminder, service animals are always allowed.

Some emergencies may prevent you from returning home. In planning for such emergencies:

Identify a trusted friend, neighbor, or dog-walker to care for your pet in your absence. This person should have a set of your house keys, be familiar with your home and pet, know your emergency plan, and have your contact information.

Put stickers on the main entrances of your home to alert rescue workers to the number and types of pets inside. Update the information on the stickers every six months. Free Rescue Alert stickers can be ordered from the ASPCA.
Keep your pet's collar/harness, leash, and Go Bag in a place where it can be easily found.

Dogs and cats should wear a collar or harness, rabies tag, and identification tag at all times. Identification tags should include your name, address, and phone number, and the phone number of an emergency contact. Dogs should also wear a license.

Talk to your veterinarian, call 311, or visit NYC.gov about microchipping your pet. A properly registered microchip enables positive identification if you and your pet are separated.

A current color photograph of you and your pet together (in case you are separated) Copies of medical records that indicate dates of vaccinations and a list of medications your pet takes and why

Proof of identification and ownership, including copies of registration information, adoption papers, proof of purchase, and microchip information

Physical description of your pet, including his/her species, breed, age, sex, color, distinguishing traits, and any other vital information about characteristics and behavior

Animal first aid kit, including flea and tick treatment and other items recommended by your veterinarian

Food, water, and dishes for at least three days
Collapsible cage or carrier
Muzzle and leash
Cotton sheet to place over the carrier to help keep your pet calm
Comforting toys or treats
Litter, litter pan, and scoop
Plastic bags for clean up

Include pet supplies in your own Emergency Supply Kit - the set of supplies you need to survive in your home for at least three days.

Pet food. If you use wet food, make sure you have pop up cans or a manual can opener on hand. Rotate food and water items every six months to avoid expiration.

Water. Dehydration is a serious health risk to animals. Check with your veterinarian to see how much water your pet needs on a daily basis.

Plastic bags, newspapers, containers, and cleaning supplies for dealing with your pet


Transport birds in small, secure carriers.
Try to minimize temperature changes. Use a spray bottle
for misting in hot weather and a hot water bottle for warming in cold weather.
Try to minimize severe changes in noise and keep the cage covered to keep your bird(s) calm.

Transport amphibians in a water-tight plastic bag or plastic container with ventilation holes.

Transport reptiles in a pillowcase, cloth sack, or small carrier, and transfer the pet into a secure cage as soon as you can.

Use a spray bottle to keep pets cool and a heating pad or battery-operated heating lamp to keep pets warm.

Try to minimize changes in temperature, lighting, and diet.
Do not mix species.

Other Small Animals
Small pets such as hamsters, gerbils, mice, rats, and guinea pigs can be transported using a covered carrier, cage, or secure box.

To minimize stress, keep the carrier covered and attempt to minimize severe changes in temperature and noise.

Create a list of contacts before an emergency. Consider local and out-of-area resources. Keep a copy of this list by your phone.

Local Veterinarian:
Alternate Veterinarian:
Emergency Pet Contact:
Local Boarding Facility:
Boarding Facility: (30-90 miles from your home)
Pet-friendly Hotels: (30-90 miles from your home)
Local Animal Shelter:

Animal Care & Control of New York City: 311 (TTY: 212-504-4115)

NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene: 311 (TTY: 212-504-4115)

Humane Society of New York: 212-752-4842
Latest Storm Alerts for NYC

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