Are You And Your Animals Prepared for evacuation?

There are things that you can do to be ready BEFORE an emergency situation occurs.

There is often very little time to react when a wildfire occurs if it is headed your way. The Viewpoint fire near Prescott Valley in 2018 at times traveled 20 miles per hour and was outrunning vehicles at one point. It grew so suddenly, that the Sheriff’s Alert system bypassed READY, GET SET and went directly to GO. Large animal owners know that it takes considerably more time to prepare and load and to evacuate safely. This page assesses your options and urges you to take some time (not really much) to make decisions in advance before an incident occurs.


Sheriff’s “READY, SET, GO” Emergency Notification System

Support Materials:

EEE Animal Disaster Action Plan Guide

EEE Animal Disaster Action Plan Worksheet

Evacuation Checklists

Things to have on hand in advance in case evacuation becomes necessary




1. Sign up for the Sheriff’s “Ready, Set, Go” advisory system. You will then get warnings of possible incidents in your area.

2. Review the “Disaster Planning Guidelines” and “Disaster Planning Worksheet”  to see how they apply to your situation. Wildfire season typically begins in the Spring but other incidents such as floods, windstorms, etc. occur. It only take a few minutes, but the Worksheet  identifies the issues and questions that are important.

3. Review the Checklists for you, your family and your animals. There is nothing mandatory about them, but they are the product of experiences from many wildfire incidents. Most first responders and EEE volunteers have a “Go Bag”. Do you?

4. If you have a trailer, you can make your own arrangements with a friend or acquaintance to take your animal(s) to their place in the event of an incident. You can offer to do the same for them. It is recommended that you practice loading your animals so that you know the procedure and how long it will take.

5. If you don’t have a trailer or you have more animals than trailer slots, take action. If you cannot load your animals, talk to a neighbor or friend who can help you and be your “buddy”. You can be helpful to them by being available when there is an incident and they are not at home. Again, it is recommended that you and your buddy practice loading the animals so that you know the procedure and how long it will take.

6. Some neighborhoods in the County have gotten together and formed groups to assist each other during an incident. These can be as informal as a telephone tree or a Facebook page. It can be as organized as creating teams within the neighborhood to connect owners without trailers with owners who have extra trailer slots. Take action in becoming a part of an organized neighborhood group. EEE offers presentations to help you do this. View our AWARENESS PROGRAMS page or email us at

7.  Know in advance what you are going to do with your animals and yourself. Trying to figure it out during an emergency is wasting valuable time and often results in poor decisions.

8. If your plan is to have your animals taken to a commercial stable or a shelter, know the procedures and rules in advance and make sure they will work for you. Know what the costs might be at a commercial shelter and ask if the price will remain the same during an evacuation event.

9.  In wildfire season, have your trailer ready to be hooked up and keep your truck fueled up. This will save you valuable time as it is one less thing to do.

10.  Give yourself plenty of time. Even if you have your own “Go Bag” and a “Go Bag” for your animals, it still takes substantial time to load your animals and be ready to depart and wildfires can move very fast. If you wait too long, traffic in your area is likely to be difficult. For these reasons, the Sheriff strongly recommends that horse owners should, “start self-evacuation at Get Set”.

11. Keep the EEE Emergency Hotline phone number handy, in the house and in the barn. Know what information you will be asked if you call for evacuation with the EEE Emergency Hotline. If you do not know where your animals are to be taken, you may have to call back when you know.

Do not call the EEE Emergency Hotline for non-evacuation situations. Call 911 or your veterinarian.

Don't get caught off guard!