By Communications and Marketing Intern, Angel Emodi

|     Last week, Los Angeles Region Digital Communications Manager, Ashley Henyan, and a few Communications and Marketing Interns (including myself) filmed a YouTube video on pet safety at the Red Cross Los Angeles Region Headquarters. We had the pleasure of having Maggie, a Red Cross employee’s dog, as the star in the video! The video emphasized the importance of including pets in your emergency preparedness plans!  Check it out!

While filming this video, I realized how important it was to know that pets need preparedness plans too. During disasters, pets can’t find their way to safety, no matter how smart they are. They also can’t make their own safety kits. Because of this, it is essential for owners to know that they are responsible for their pet’s safety during times of disaster.

This new found knowledge motivated me to share what I have learned about pet preparedness. I also wanted to use the privilege the Red Cross has given to me through my summer internship to help increase the rate of survival for pets during and after disasters.

Pet Preparedness Tips

Create a Pet Emergency Preparedness Kit and include: leashes, food, medicine, first aid kits, and a photo of your pet.

Have a safe place for pets to go during an emergency, and remember the Red Cross only allows service animals into shelters. 

Practice escape route and evacuation plans with your pets.

Just like humans, pets also need recovery time! Watch out for concerning or unusual behaviors after an emergency or disaster. 

Never endanger yourself or delay escaping an emergency situation to save your pets— no matter how cute they are!

Let’s not forget that harsh weather conditions, hot or cold, could also endanger our beloved pets. Keeping pets safe in the summer heat is always emphasized but, what about keeping pets safe in the cold winter? Here are some tips on keeping your pets safe during the summer AND the winter!

Summer Heat Pet Preparedness

NEVER leave your pets in the car

Watch out for fertilizers and plants

Provide your pets with plenty of fresh water

Winter Weather Pet Preparedness

Try to keep your pets inside as much as possible

If pets go outside, provide access to food and water that isn’t blocked by the snow

Watch out for salt used to melt snow— it can irritates pets’ paws

In addition to all this, I also learned that the Red Cross provides Pet First Aid classes! Can you believe it? The online course, for just $25, teaches participants the basics of first aid care for cats and dogs. It covers things like vital signs, breathing and cardiac emergencies, wounds, and seizures. If you’re interested, please click here

Every pet owner should also download the Red Cross Pet First Aid App. It provides you with instructions for common pet emergencies, and information about including pets in your emergency preparedness plans.

Please note that all information used for this blog is primarily for cats and dogs. For information about livestock, horses, birds, reptiles, or small animals please visit

To learn more about pet preparedness, please click here.


Angel Emodi will be in 11th grade at Hawthorne Math and Science Academy. She enjoys playing volleyball and her professional goals include attending Medical School to become a Pediatrician. This is Angel’s first year interning with the American Red Cross.


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