If you have a pet, you know how much they mean to you. They are part of your family, and you want to keep them safe and happy. But what if a disaster strikes and you have to evacuate your home? How can you prepare for such a situation and make sure your pet is taken care of?

Here are some tips to help you plan ahead and protect your furry friend in case of an emergency:

– Have a pet emergency kit ready. This should include items such as food, water, bowls, leash, collar, ID tags, carrier, medications, first aid supplies, toys, blankets, and a photo of your pet. Keep the kit in a place where you can easily grab it if you need to leave quickly.

– Make sure your pet is microchipped and has up-to-date identification. This will help you reunite with your pet if you get separated during a disaster. You can also register your pet with a national database or a local shelter that can help you locate them.  Micro-chipping can increase the chance that you are reunited with a missing pet by double!!

– Have a list of pet-friendly shelters, hotels, or friends and family members who can accommodate your pet in case you have to evacuate. Not all shelters or hotels accept pets, so it is important to do some research beforehand and have some options ready. You can also contact your local animal welfare organization or veterinarian for more information.

– Know how to safely transport your pet. Depending on the type and size of your pet, you may need a carrier, a crate, or a harness to secure them in your vehicle. Make sure your pet is comfortable and familiar with the mode of transportation you will use. You can also practice loading and unloading your pet from your vehicle before an emergency happens.

– Have a plan for what to do if you are not at home when a disaster occurs. You can ask a trusted neighbor, friend, or family member to check on your pet and take them to a safe place if needed. You can also leave a note on your door with your contact information and the location of your pet emergency kit.  You can also get pet alert stickers for first-responders to know that there is a pet in the house from the ASPCA (https://secure.aspca.org/take-action/pet-safety-pack) for free!

By following these steps, you can ensure that your pet is prepared for any disaster that may come your way. Remember that your pet depends on you for their safety and well-being, so don’t forget to include them in your emergency planning.