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We are constantly hearing about both natural and manmade disasters around the world. Whenever a disaster strikes, there are always stories of animals that could not evacuate on their own or protect themselves. Our hope is that through partnerships and preparedness, animals in the Capital Region will be safe if disaster strikes. The Humane Society is an active participant in County Animal Response Teams for both Albany and Rensselaer Counties. While both counties have plans to respond in case of a disaster, the best way for you and your family to stay safe is to prepare yourself for a disaster.

The best way to make sure your pets are safe is to include them in your own disaster plans.


Never leave pets behind when you evacuate for a disaster, even if you believe you will only be gone a short time. Disasters are unpredictable and you may not be able to return home to retrieve your pets.
Work with your neighbors to develop a rescue plan for your pets when you are not home, including establishing a meeting place to reconnect with them.
Many evacuation shelters for people will not accept pets. Be prepared for an evacuation by making a list of pet-friendly hotels, or family and friends who would welcome you and your pets.
Post window stickers on your home that say "pets inside." List the number and type of pets, as well as an emergency contact number for you or a relative.

Create a Pet Emergency Evacuation Kit

Your pet may have special needs that cannot easily be accommodated in an evacuation shelter and it may take days for outside assistance to arrive. You should be ready with supplies and equipment to leave with your pet. Your kit should include:

Copies of veterinary records - especially rabies vaccinations
Three-day supply of pet food, water and cat litter
Three-day supply of medicine and supplements
Copies of any prescriptions your pet needs
Food and water bowls
Litter pan for cats
Collar and ID Tag (it is also wise to have your pet microchipped)
Photo of your pet with a brief description including age, breed, sex and any distinguishing features
An extra leash and collar or harness
A crate or carrier that is comfortable for your pet
Familiar items like toys or a bed that will comfort your pet during evacuation


If you want to be a disaster response volunteer, contact Albany County Citizen Corps.

More Resources

Empire State Animal Response Team

Federal Emergency Management Agency

MHHS Disaster Preparedness Brochure