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A disaster could hit at any moment, and it is important that you are prepared to evacuate your family to safety. If you leave your home, you need to take your pets with you. If your home is no longer safe for you, it probably won’t be safe for your animals either.

Take the following steps to ensure that your pets will be safe during a disaster:

  • Make a pet emergency kit – Do not wait for a catastrophe to strike before assembling an emergency kit. Make sure that your kit is easily accessible and waterproof. It should contain important items such as a week’s supply of food, bottled water, waste clean-up supplies, medications, first aid supplies, medical records, and a safety harness. You need to re-evaluate the contents of your emergency kit every year, replacing the expired items and updating the medical records.
  • Scout out pet-friendly accommodations – If you need to evacuate to safety, you should remember that not all public evacuation centers admit animals. Make a list of pet-friendly hotels. You can also locate animal shelters, veterinarians, or rescue organizations that will keep your pets in the event of an emergency.
  • Update contact information – If your pet has a microchip, make sure that it reflects accurate contact information. If your pet has collar tags, make sure to keep them updated with correct information as well.
  • Rely on trusted neighbors – An emergency could strike while you are away from home. Have a pet-friendly neighbor watch over your animals when you leave for extended periods of time.
  • Display rescue decals on your home – Put a sign on your home’s door or window alerting emergency responders that there are pets in the house that need to be rescued. If you can evacuate your pets before the emergency responders arrive, post an “Evacuated” sign on the decal so they will no longer waste time searching for your animals.

Make sure to treat your pets like the valued part of your family that they are. A little preparation on your pet’s behalf can make a big difference when unexpected emergencies strike.