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Prepare Your Pets for Natural Disasters

May 13th is National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day, which is the perfect time to create a plan for yourself and your pets. During a natural disaster, it’s more important than ever to know how to care for your pets and keep them safe. Whether you have to evacuate or shelter in place, you should know how to protect your pets and transport them if necessary. Here are some tips on how to prepare your pets for a natural disaster: 

Make a List of Shelters, Hotels, or Boarding Facilities

Call around and determine which nearby hotels allow pets during a natural disaster or evacuation. Also, call your city or state disaster recovery agency and ask them if pets are allowed in city or county shelters when there is a natural disaster or mandatory evacuation. Finally, find out if a trusted friend or family member can care for your pet in the event you have to evacuate and can’t bring your pet to a shelter with you. 

Create an Evacuation Kit

Next, create an evacuation kit or emergency kit, so you’ll have it ready if you need it. The kit should contain a leash or harness, pet food, water, treats, medication your pet is on, a pet first aid kit, warm bedding, medical records, and your veterinarian’s contact information. Put the evacuation kit inside a pet carrier or pet travel bag so that you can easily bring it with you or take it out to the car if you have to evacuate.

Make Sure You’re Identifiable As Your Pet’s Owner

Finally, put a tag on your pet’s collar that has your current phone number and address. Also, make sure your pet is microchipped and that the contact information is up to date. If your pet escapes during a storm, he might get out of his collar, so a microchip will be the fastest way for someone to identify you as the owner. You should also bring a photo of you and your pet together, as well as photos of just your pet, with you during an evacuation just in case you get separated. 

Make sure you communicate with your veterinarian about your disaster preparedness plan. Your veterinarian can help you plan for how to care for and transport your pets should a disaster happen.

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