ASPCA Urges Pet Owners to Include Animals in Emergency Plans as Hurricane Isaias Approaches Southeast

Residents forced to evacuate from their homes strongly encouraged to bring pets with them
July 31, 2020

NEW YORK—As Hurricane Isaias intensifies and rapidly approaches the Southeast, the ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is offering expert tips on keeping animals safe during a disaster and urging residents in the pathway of the hurricane to include pets in their evacuation plans.

Hurricane Isaias is currently classified as a Category 1 storm and is expected to bring heavy rainfall and high winds throughout the next few days to Florida’s east coast. The ASPCA Disaster Response team is in communication with our national partners and will continue to assess the needs throughout the weekend to determine if our resources are needed.

"It's critical for pet owners to consider their animals when preparing for any disaster, and we strongly urge them to always bring their animals with them if they have to evacuate their home," said Tim Rickey, Vice President, ASPCA National Field Response. "By following the necessary steps to incorporate your pets into your preparedness and evacuation plans, you could be saving a life and keeping your family – including your pets – together." 

The ASPCA advises pet owners to take the following steps:

  • If you evacuate, take your pets with you. Never leave your pets behind or tether them to poles or trees, which prevents them from escaping high waters and getting to safe areas.
  • Make sure all pets are wearing ID tags with up-to-date contact information. The ASPCA also recommends checking microchip registration information to ensure that contact information is up-to-date as well.
  • Create a portable pet emergency kit with essential items including medical records, water, water bowls, pet food and your pet’s medications.
  • Choose a designated caregiver, such as a friend or relative outside the evacuation zone, who can take care of your pet in the event you are unable.

For more information on how to incorporate your pet into your disaster preparedness plans, visit

The ASPCA National Field Response team deploys nationwide to assist in relocation, search-and-rescue, sheltering and placement of animals during disaster situations including wildfires, tornadoes and floods. In addition, they work closely with local agencies across the country to help enhance their animal response capabilities through grants and training opportunities.