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Preparing for Emergencies

No one wants to think about disasters, but everyone should be prepared for them.

This page has been created to help you prepare your companion animals for any emergency. By being prepared you will significantly increase the chance that your companion animal will escape unharmed. Wisconsin can experience weather emergencies such as tornados, ice, snow, severe cold and flooding in addition to home fires and other natural disasters.

Whenever possible, it is essential that you take your companions with you in the event of an evacuation. Even if you think you will only be away for a few hours, you may become delayed or the emergency may escalate. Establish your own emergency plan that includes your animals.

Creating a Plan for Your Companion Animals

Considering what will happen in the event of an emergency is essential in disaster planning.

As you develop your own emergency evacuation plans, answer these questions:

  • Is my companion animal up to date on all vaccinations?
  • Is my companion animal’s microchip registered with current information on the manufacturer’s database? If you adopted your animal from the Wisconsin Humane Society, it is most likely your companion animal is microchipped with 24 Petwatch at (877) 738-4584. If you adopted prior to July of 2003, your animal was most likely chipped with an AVID microchip, (800) 336-2843.
  • How will I gather my animals in the event of an evacuation?
  • Are my carriers equipped and ready to house my companion animal?
  • Where will I go if I have to evacuate? Which of my family and friends can house my companions?  Which hotels or motels in the area accept animals?
  • If I am away during an emergency, who will gather my animals and their emergency supplies?
  • How will the authorities know to help my companion animals if no one is at home? Do I have a “Pet Inside” cling on my front door so they know the number of animals to rescue?
  • Once you have evacuated, do you have an “All Animals Evacuated” note ready to put on the front door? This should be placed on the front door only after you have been notified by the authorities that an emergency evacuation has been issued, your property has been secured, and police authorities are in the area monitoring the evacuation.

Companion Animal Emergency Checklist

Each of your companion animals should have an emergency kit.

Emergency kits for cats and dogs of all sizes are available. These items are available in the kit or individually. The emergency kits include:

  • Carrier or crate large enough for the animal to comfortably stand or sit. The crate or carrier should also have an identification tag. Cat crates should be large enough for a litter pan.
  • Properly-fitted collar with identification tags and leash.
  • At least three days of food and water. Make sure the food is in an air-tight, waterproof container. Don’t forget the can opener if you feed your companion canned food.
  • Food and water bowls
  • Litter
  • Treats
  • The following Information Kit should be placed in a waterproof, zip-lock bag: Copies of medical and vaccination records
  • Three days of any current medications or a copy of the prescriptions for these medications
  • A recent photograph of you and your companion animal for identification purposes Registration and adoption information
  • Toys and a bed to fit inside the carrier to help reduce stress.
  • Paper towels, plastic bags and spray disinfectant for animal waste clean up.
  • First-aid kit for companion animals, available in Animal Antics.
  • WHS L.O.S.T form completed in advance of any emergency. Fill out as much information as you can in advance. In the event your companion animal becomes lost, you will only have to complete the pertinent information regarding your companion’s disappearance.

Important phone numbers

In the event of an emergency, the following list of telephone numbers will help connect you to various agencies that may offer important emergency information. Keep these telephone numbers handy:

  • Wisconsin Humane Society Emergency Hotline (414) 431-6108
  • Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission (414) 649-8640
  • Wisconsin Humane Society Wildlife Department (414) 431-6204
  • Dead Animal Removal City of Milwaukee (414) 286-8282
  • Dept of Neighborhood Services (414) 286-2268

Health Departments in the following municipalities:

  • City of Milwaukee (414) 286-3521
  • North Shore (Brown Deer, Bayside, Riverhills, Fox Point, and Glendale) (414) 371-2980
  • Whitefish Bay/Shorewood (414) 962-6648
  • West Allis (414) 302-8600
  • Wauwatosa (414) 479-8936
  • Oak Creek (414) 768-6525
  • Greenfield (414) 329-5275
  • St Francis (414) 481-2300 ext 133
  • Greendale (414) 423-2110
  • Cudahy (414) 769-2239
  • West Milwaukee Village (414) 302-8600
  • Franklin (414) 425-9101
  • Hales Corners (414) 529-0155
  • South Milwaukee (414) 768-8460

Create a Plan for Your Family

Get your entire family involved in the emergency planning process.

Discuss the various types of situations that might require an emergency evacuation plan. By planning for a disaster you are providing your family with an educational and lifesaving experience. Visit the American Red Cross for more helpful information on preparing your family.