Thank you for bringing this up.
I live in a forest fire area and being burnt out, and out for a long time is a reality. My parents live next door. I have 7 cats and a horse, they have 7 cats, 3 dogs and 2 horses.
After helping the Katrina victims try and located their pets, emergency evacuation plans became top priority for us. I will not trust my animals to any emergency shelter, too many known owned animals, hundreds of them, disappeared.
So he have decided with so many animals that camping it long term is the way to go. The horse trailer is stocked with all emergency supplies. Step Dad gets the horses and dogs loaded into the trailer, Mom does her cats, I get my cats.
We each have enough carriers, if you can' afford alot of money, get the cheapo cardboard ones at Petco or PetsMart. These will at least allow temporary containment.
For the long term we bought tents. Some nice ones that are not too expensive at Walmart. So while not perfect, the cats would not be stuck in small crates if out of our home for more that a few hours. An eight man tent costs about the same as a medium sized dog cage.
Hurricane Katrina brought about a new awareness that people will not evacuate without their pets. Legislation has been passed to make sure pets are included in emergency plans. States are being required to provide emergency shelters that accept people and pets.
Everyone should contact their state and city officials to find out what emergency plans are in place. These plans are supposed to include transportation help for those without vehicles. Make sure you know what type of restrictions may be in place if you have to use public transportation. Some larger dogs may be required to be muzzled, even if friendly. Locate pet friendly hotels in areas around your home.
As part of your evacuation kit, make sure you have all important insurance papers, bank account number etc in an accessable place. ( I use a small fire box). Additionally make sure you have current photographs of all your pets in there as well, just in case you get separated. If your pets are microchipped make sure there is an alternate phone number, incase your home phone is out of service for days, weeks or months. Also consider having an "emergency email account listing". Most all libraries now have computers with interent access. HSUS relied 100% on the internet for Katrina information. Sadly, displaced people don't have access to the internet and this strategy for the most part failed miserably.
For those who are in tornado prone areas. Make sure if you are aware a sever storm is coming, get pets into carriers prior to it hitting. Even if there are no warning and just a watch. This way in the unlikely even you do get hit and your home is damaged, your pets will aready be contained and easy to "grab and go".
Sorry for rambling. This has become a big issue for me. Lack of preparedness and a belief that "it will never happened to me" resulted in the biggest human and animal tragedy this nation has ever seen. If we don't learn from this example it will happen again. Remember no one expected to be banned from New Orleans for three weeks. We all need to have long term and short term plans.
For those of us with lots of animals, this requires some careful planning.