Do you know what to do in the event of an emergency? Sadly, many people don't know what to do when there is a disaster. Not only do they not have plans for themselves and their family, but they don't have plans for their pets. But planning and being prepared in case of an emergency can determine whether you and your loved ones survive or not. 

Disasters can occur no matter where you live. In North Carolina hurricanes are a risk, as well as other emergencies. Every pet owner should take the time to plan ahead and know what to do in case of an emergency.  

Using This Guide

The Central Carolina English Setter Club, Inc. has prepared this guide to help you make plans for your pets before a disaster happens. You will find many helpful links to information here from the American Kennel Club, disaster agencies in North Carolina, and the Red Cross to help you prepare in advance for an emergency. 

For the purposes of this plan, and to give you some idea of local resources, Winston-Salem, NC, has been chosen as the sample city for a disaster. You will find a link to information on pet-friendly accommodations in Winston-Salem as an example, but you can find similar information for virtually any area. There is also a link to the city's department of emergency management to help citizens prepare for a disaster for their pets ahead of time. Again, residents should look for similar information available for their own hometown so they can plan ahead.  


No matter where you live in North Carolina, or elsewhere, there are some basic things you need to do in terms of preparation for your pets before an emergency ever occurs:

  • Have all of your pets microchipped and make sure you keep your contact information up-to-date with the microchip company.
  • Have an emergency supply kit prepared ahead of time for your pet. This kit should have basic supplies such as food, water, medications, leashes, bowls, identification, and current photos of your pets. Have crates ready to go.
  • Keep a pet first aid kit in your house and/or vehicle. You can put together a pet first aid kit yourself with some basic first aid supplies or purchase one from a pet store. Know your disaster routes.
  • If you must evacuate, know where you are supposed to go and how to get there. Have alternate routes mapped out. Keep gas in your vehicle tank. If you have to evacuate, plan to take your pets with you.
  • If it is not safe for you to stay, it is probably not safe for your pets to stay.
  • Make sure your pets are wearing proper identification. It is important for your pets to wear a collar with identification. Some places might not check for a microchip if your pets become separated from you.
  • Call ahead to make sure pets are allowed where you are planning to go.  This is something you should do far in advance and confirm again. Most Red Cross shelters do NOT take pets, so you will need to plan for this issue.
Remember that the more you plan ahead, the easier it is to make arrangements when you and your pets are facing an emergency. 

We hope this guide will help you if you and your pets should ever encounter an emergency of any kind. Planning ahead can make all the difference!  


The Central Carolina English Setter Club, Inc. is made up of members residing in many localities in North Carolina as well as in many other states and Canada. It would not be feasible to attempt to create a plan for each member since even members living in different areas of the same city may have different plans. Instead, we are providing documents and links to show the resources available from the AKC, the Red Cross and local governments to help you prepare for emergencies for you and your pets. We have used some examples for Winston-Salem which is the geographic center of our area but the links provided can be used to prepare a plan for your own locality and circumstances. Members outside of North Carolina can find the same kind of information by searching terms such as “disaster planning.” Many of the links provide valuable information no matter where you live.  
American Kennel Club:
AKC has provided a comprehensive checklist to use before an emergency:

Here is an overview of disaster preparedness from AKC:
North Carolina:
 This web-site provides weather maps and links to disaster preparedness in every locality in NC:

As an example, we have linked to the Winston-Salem page but if you go to the home page you can find information on pet-friendly accommodations throughout the US and Canada:
Pet Friendly Travel
Pet Evacuation and Pet Friendly Emergency Shelters
Pet First Aid Kit:
This link provides information on building a pet first aid kit :  

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