Disaster Preparedness for Pets – California Wildfires

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As California experiences an intense wildfire season, those of us at Milo wanted to make it easy for you to prepare your furry family members for evacuation. If you are given an evacuation order, you may need to leave with very little notice. Being prepared for an evacuation order with a pre-packed human “Go Bag” and pet Go Bag will save you time and help ensure you do not leave anything important behind.

Disaster Preparedness for Pets

First, if you have not yet microchipped your pet, see if this service is available now. Microchipping is a great way to ensure that you are reunited with your pet if you become separated. Additionally, make sure that all ID tags have a cell number rather than just an address. Even better, purchase a collar where the cell number can be embroidered right on the collar itself in case the tag gets lost. Since cats frequently don’t wear nametags, the embroidered collar with cell number is a great idea. All pets should be current on shots, especially rabies, as many facilities will not allow your pet onsite without current vaccinations.

Pet disaster preparedness frequently means keeping your gas tank full or near full. Evacuation may take several hours, and gas stations may be closed. Store the Go Bags near the exit you will use or store them in the car (the exception here is medication – some medications degrade in the heat; keep these climate controlled before you go). Make sure you have a crate or carrier for each pet for your evacuation vehicle to keep them secure and calm.

Additional items for Go Bags are:

  • A pet first-aid kit and medical guide book, Neosporin, bandages, gauze, medical tape, cotton balls, scissors, hydrogen peroxide, and hot and cold packs.
  • A week’s worth of canned (pop-top) or dry food (replenish by expiration date). Make sure to pack a can opener if you need one for the canned food.
  • Disposable litter trays (aluminum roasting pans are perfect) and litter and a scoop
  • Paper towels and wipes.  Poop bags (can also be used for litter box cleaning)
  • Dish soap and a few towels are handy
  • Small garbage bags
  • Pet dishes and water bowls (preferably two of each)
  • Extra leashes, collars, and ID tags
  • Blanket
  • Comfort toy
  • Fabric towels
  • Photocopies or digital storage of medical records and a waterproof container with a two-week supply of any medicine your pet requires (Remember, food and medications need to be rotated out of your emergency kit—otherwise they may go bad or become useless)
  • At least seven days’ worth of bottled or boxed emergency water for each person and pet (replace every few months)
  • Flashlights and light up dog tags or collars so you can see your dog in the dark.

Disaster Preparedness for Pets


Have pictures of your pet available in case one of them should get lost. Some pet-friendly lodging resources include:

If you feel like you can’t take your pet with you, contact us and we will help you find a safe place for your pet. If a place isn’t safe for you, it isn’t safe for your pet. Leaving them to fend for themselves can be fatal.

Help Support Milo Foundation during Wildfire Season

Milo helps clear shelters of animals so that shelters can rescue their local animals, and we provide crates, cages, and other supplies. Some volunteers are out physically picking up stray animals to rescue them. Please consider a donation so we can expand this important work during an already intense wildfire season.

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