Make your emergency plan today.

Developing an Emergency & Evacuation Plan

Some questions to ask:


  • Identification of travel routes least likely to be blocked by flood, fire or other disaster
  • List of primary and secondary holding areas for animals
  • Plans for first responder access
  • Ensure all vehicles and trailers are in working condition (keep gas tank at least half full)
  • Ensure halters, leashes, ropes, etc are accessible for each animal
  • Have phone numbers for neighbors and volunteer groups
  • Documentation (proof of ownership, brand registration, current photos, veterinary contact info, insurance contacts and proof of insurance)
  • First aid kits for animals and people


Like your own emergency kit, the one you create for your pet should include at least three days of food, water and medications.

Other items to help your pet may include:

  • First aid kit. Talk to your veterinarian about what should be included. Most pet kits have cotton bandage rolls, bandage tape and scissors, antibiotic ointment, flea and tick prevention, latex gloves, rubbing alcohol and saline solution. A pet first aid book also is helpful.
  • Identification, harness or leash. Your dog or cat should wear a collar with an ID or contact card and rabies tags at all times. Keep a backup set in your pet's emergency kit. Include important documents like registration, adoption, vaccination, or important medical records. Consider micro chipping and enrolling your pet in a recovery database. Livestock should wear a contact card for easy identification.
  • A picture of you and your pet together. A picture will help identify your pet and document ownership should you become separated.
  • Crate or carrier. Have a sturdy, safe, comfortable crate or carrier to transport your pet.
  • Familiar items. Include your pet's favorite toys, treats or bedding.
  • Sanitation. Have supplies to provide for your pet's sanitation needs such as litter and litter box, newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags and household chlorine bleach for disinfecting (dilute nine parts water to one part bleach).

Animal Safety in Flood, Mud, and Slides

Our local Sonoma, Marin, Napa, Yolo & Solano County Animal Control have resources and skills to assist in a large animal emergency.

Sonoma County Public Safety Information,
Emergency Management Division

Storm and emergency related updates. They can be reached by phone at: 707-565-1152.

Sonoma County Animal Services
Phone: 707-565-7100

Here are some IMPORTANT reminders, and, things you can do if

emergency services cannot reach you:

  • In an emergency, the fire service must save human lives first. Do not put yourself or rescuers in further danger!
  • Mud is very dangerous for large animals. Vital functions can be impacted in a short time. Improper extraction methods can cause more damage than the entrapment.
  • Try loosening mud around animal by pumping in water or air. Use caution with electrical cords, diesel fuel, etc. Do NOT PULL ON HEAD!
  • MAKE SURE the animal has a SAFE ZONE to jump or walk into! Give animal opportunity to self-rescue.
  • Assign a "SAFETY PERSON" to keep eyes on everything.
  • In flooded pasture/Ranch areas: greatest danger can be submerged power lines, fences & barbwire.
  • Do not attempt to move animals if you cannot see fence posts!
  • If you are subject to severe flooding, mark fence posts at intervals, using tape or secure flags.
  • Mark gates if possible.
  • Remember: water is a super conductor!
  • Stay SAFE during storms. Evacuate ASAP and move animals when possible.
  • Leave dry food in shelters when possible.
  • Use extreme caution when returning.
  • Watch for floating containers and spreading contaminants, carcasses, hazardous debris, power lines, etc.
  • Call 911 and/or Animal Control for carcass removal assistance. Public health & safety are everyone's first priority! Animal health affects ours, too!

Equine Evacuation

If you need to move horses due to flooding and can get to Santa Rosa the fairgrounds are an option, but you need to reserve a stall in advance.

When you make your reservation:

  • you will be given a gate code for the Aston entrance;
  • you will need to provide an arrival time, the number of animals you are bringing, and number of stalls you need. (In addition to horses they are also taking in other large animals.)

As a condition of using the fairground premises:

  • you will be required to sign and pay for a liability insurance policy &/or contract ($50.00);
  • you will be required to pay a stall fee ($10.00/day);
  • you will be required to care for your own animals while they are at the fairgrounds, including providing feed and cleaning stalls.

According to Sonoma Horse Council, "If people would like to reserve a stall they can setup the contract today with a deposit which is refundable if they do not end up needing to use the stall."

To inquire about making or to make a reservation contact:
Sonoma County Animal Services : 707-565-7100
Or email one of these Sonoma County Horse Council members:
Elizabeth Palmer
Denise Gilseth
Dr Ted Stashak

marin horse council evacuation flyer


HALTER is dedicated to large animal disaster preparedness. Below is a list of resources to guide you in a state of emergency.

Emergency Supplies


Feed Cache

Disaster Planning

How to Help Now

More Information

For more information about Large Animal rescue and preparedness visit the UC Davis website.