In light of the recent catastrophic events that have affected a large portion of the country, I wanted to write about preparing a particular member of your family for an impending event: your pet.

Pets are an important part of many households. When preparing a disaster plan and emergency kit, remember your pet should be part of that planning. Always check with your area’s assistance programs during a natural disaster. Make sure your pet’s kit includes everything they may need for an extended period: food, water, medications, medical records, a leash, a pet carrier, toys, toiletries; i.e., waste bags, and anything else that will make your pet less stressed and comfortable during a natural disaster.

Natural disasters often strike without much warning, so planning is the best way to ensure the health and safety of both your family and your pets. Make sure your pets have the proper tags to identify you as the owner in case you become separated during a disaster (it may also be a good idea to microchip your pet so that you can locate them in the event of an emergency).

During natural disasters, you do not always leave your home. If this is the case, make a plan and setup a room for your animals, preferably an interior room that does not have windows. Try to make your pet as comfortable as possible and remove potential hazards from the area.

You will have a lot to concern yourself with during a natural disaster. Be prepared the best you can to keep yourself and your family safe, including your pets.

For more information and a more encompassing list of needed information for your pet in a disaster event, please visit:

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