Free guide helps pet owners be ready for emergencies

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Two men sit on a gym floor with their dogs in a disaster evacuation situation

The AVMA has published an updated version of the popular disaster preparedness guide that helps pet owners be ready to safeguard their companion animals in the event of an emergency or natural disaster.

Save the Whole Family: Disaster Preparedness for Households with Pets is a free, downloadable booklet filled with tips, checklists, and important information for companion animal owners. You’ll find it with the AVMA’s other disaster preparedness resources for pet owners, at

What’s in the guide?

The guide walks pet owners through the process of making a plan, being ready to execute that plan, and staying informed before, during, and after an emergency. For example:

  • What to do at the first sign of trouble
  • How to make transportation and housing arrangements
  • What equipment and information to keep on hand
  • How to make an evacuation kit in advance

For owners who might not be with their pets when disaster strikes, there are tips to make sure those pets will be cared for during a disaster and to increase the chances of the family being reunited.

The guide also includes printable resources like emergency contact cards and a pet evacuation checklist.

Coming soon

Save the Whole Family will soon be available in Spanish as well as English, and the AVMA also is developing a companion resource for farm animal owners. You can subscribe to this blog to be notified when those are available. 

More disaster planning resources

The AVMA provides a wide range of disaster planning and preparedness resources for veterinary practices, as well as both pet and livestock owners. Find all of these tools at


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