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Tips for Natural Disaster Preparedness with Pets

May 13th is National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day. If you live in an area at risk for natural disasters like floods, wildfires, earthquakes, tornados, tsunamis, or other dangers, you probably have a disaster preparedness plan. If you have pets, you should make sure your family has a plan in place for how to care for your pets and keep them safe during a natural disaster. Here are some tips for natural disaster preparedness with pets.

Update Microchips & ID Tags

If your pet gets away from you during a storm or disaster, he or she might get out of his collar. If that happens, his microchip will be the easiest, fastest way for someone to identify you as the owner and find out how to contact you. Make sure the contact information connected with your pet’s microchip is up to date. You should also make sure your pet’s collar has an ID tag that has up to date contact information, including your name, phone number, and address. 

Create an Emergency Go-Bag

If you have to evacuate, you should have an emergency go-bag ready for your pet. It should include your pet’s food, treats, and medication as well as a supply of clean water. It should also have toys, warm bedding, and a leash and harness. Store the go-bag inside your pet’s travel carrier or pet carrier so you always know exactly where it is.

Find a Pet-Friendly Shelter or Caregiver 

Make a list of pet-friendly hotels you can go to in an evacuation, and find out if any emergency shelters accept pets. You should also make sure you have a backup plan in place in case all pet-friendly accommodations are taken. Make arrangements with a friend or family member who knows your pet, and whom you trust to care for your pet during an evacuation. This person should be outside your evacuation area, but easily reachable during an emergency situation.

Don’t forget to talk to your veterinarian about how to safely shelter in place or evacuate with your pets. Your veterinarian can give you advice on keeping your pets safe and comfortable during a natural disaster.

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