Ready Harris News

Harris County Urges Pet Preparedness: Residents Invited to Smart PAWZ Event

Jun 11, 2018 Back

(Houston, Texas) -- The Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management and participating preparedness partners* are hosting the second annual Smart PAWZ pet event at Houston TranStar (6922 Katy Road) on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 from 6-7:30 p.m. Pet owners and their furry friends are invited to participate in this fun event organized to remind the public that hurricane season is here and pet owners need to include their pets in their emergency preparedness plans. 

“Thousands of animals are lost or die during disasters, and most of the time this could have been prevented,” said Harris County Judge Ed Emmett. “This is why we urge residents to remember to include their pets in their plans.”

The following is a list of things you should do to prepare your pet(s) for emergencies:

  • Ensure your pet can be identified by either a microchip or collar ID tag and that contact information is up-to-date.
  • Prepare a pet emergency supplies kit that is readily accessible when needed.
  • Display a pet rescue decal on your front door or window to let first responders know there is a pet in the house. Include your veterinarian’s contact information.
  • Learn where your pet likes to hide in your house when frightened. Finding your pet quickly will help you evacuate faster.
  • Identify a location to take your pet if you need to leave your immediate area. Keep in mind that disaster shelters for people may not be open to pets. Find hotels and motels with pet-friendly policies and ask relatives or friends if they can house you and your pet.
  • Carry a picture of your pet in the event of separation.
  • If you need to evacuate, consider taking a pet carrier or crate for transport and safe-keeping.

“Planning ahead is key to keeping you and your pets safe during an emergency,” added Emmett. “Your pets depend on you, so do not wait until the last minute to prepare.”

Download the free ReadyHarris app from the App Store or Google Play, and create a family disaster plan that includes your pet(s). For additional pet preparedness tips, go to


* Harris County Public Health – Veterinary Public Health

   Houston SPCA  

   Best Friends Animal Society

   Friends of County Pets

© Copyright 2017 Harris County HCOHSEM