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Plan Care for Your Pets During Emergencies

A Coast Guard technician helps a family and their pets near a submerged road along the Red River in Kindred, North Dakota.

A Coast Guard technician helps a family and their pets near a submerged road along the Red River in Kindred, North Dakota. Photo from the Coast Guard on Flickr.

Recent disasters remind us how important it is to prepare for emergencies. When you have to evacuate your home because of an earthquake, tornado, flood, or other emergency, there’s no time to prepare. The time to prepare is now.

Emergency planning is important for every member of your family – pets included. There are simple steps you can take to make your evacuation with your pet quick and safe. You can store food, water, medicines, veterinary records, and learn where you can take your pets when an emergency happens in your community.

Ready.gov suggests:

If you must evacuate, take your pets with you if possible. However, if you are going to a public shelter, it is important to understand that animals may not be allowed inside. Plan in advance for shelter alternatives that will work for both you and your pets.

Make a back-up emergency plan in case you can’t care for your animals yourself. Develop a buddy system with neighbors, friends and relatives to make sure that someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so. Be prepared to improvise and use what you have on hand to make it on your own for at least three days, maybe longer.

Find more tips for preparing your pets for emergencies at Ready.gov.

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