Emergency Planning for Pets at Your Business

From natural disasters to other types of emergencies, all responsible businesses today have an emergency and evacuation plan in place. But does your business’s plan include pets?

Here are considerations to make sure you’ve planned for furry customers and visitors in your emergency procedures.

  • Do you have a process that ensures you know how many pets are onsite and where they are, in case an emergency occurs?
  • Do you communicate with customers about emergency procedures in case they’re needed?
  • Are procedures related to pets included in staff emergency training?
  • Are your escape routes and exits as accessible for pets as they are for people?
  • Do your emergency roles and responsibilities include assigning someone the role of taking action and making decisions related to pets?
  • Do you have a process to alert pet parents in case of emergency or the need to evacuate?
  • Do you have a plan for evacuating pets whose owners may not be onsite?
  • Do you have a procedure for alerting emergency response teams to how many pets are onsite and where they may be?
  • Do you have supplies to enable pet evacuation in case of emergency, e.g., spare leashes and pet carriers?
  • Do you know how to reach your local animal welfare/animal services organization for assistance with pet evacuation or emergencies?
  • Do you know where the nearest emergency vet is that could provide assistance?
  • Do you have supplies if pet guests have to shelter in place for an extended time, e.g., water bowls and water for pets, pet waste bags, etc.?
  • Do you have a designated space for pet parents and their pets if sheltering in place is required?

Want more tips? Check out the Pets Welcome Toolkit for info about how to launch a pet-friendly business initiative that can benefit businesses, pet parents and pets.

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