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Disaster Preparedness Tips for Pet Owners

As you and your family create a natural disaster preparedness plan, don’t forget to include your pets. Whether you need to shelter in place or evacuate to a safe location, your pets will be depending on you to take care of them. Here are some crucial disaster preparedness tips for pet owners:

Microchip Your Pets & Update Tags

If your pet gets away from you during a storm or other emergency, a microchip will be the fastest, easiest way for someone to identify you as your pet’s owner. Make sure the contact information attached to your pet’s microchip is always up to date. You should also make sure that your pet’s ID tag has your current phone number and address. 

Find a Pet-Friendly Shelter

Make a list of hotels and shelters that accept pets during natural disasters and mandatory evacuations. You should also find a friend, relative, or boarding facility that you trust that can take care of your pet if you have to evacuate to a shelter that doesn’t accept pets. If you choose a friend or family member, make sure it’s someone that you and your pet know and trust. The person should live outside your evacuation area, but be easily reachable during an evacuation.

Prepare a To-Go Kit

Finally, prepare a to-go kit for your pet that you can grab during an emergency or evacuation. The kit should contain a pet first aid kit, food, medication, water, warm bedding, and a leash or harness. Keep the kit somewhere easily accessible. The best place for it is inside a travel crate or pet carrier, which you’ll use to transport your pet during an evacuation.

In recognition of National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day on May 13th, talk to your veterinarian about disaster preparedness and how to keep your pets safe in a natural disaster or emergency. Your veterinarian can help you plan transport or shelter in place measures that will keep your pet safe and comfortable.

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