VCA Animal Hospitals
Published: Nov 05, 2012

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Hurricane Sandy may be long gone, but the wreckage the storm left is still devastatingly apparent in the Northeast. People have lost their homes and all of their prized possessions - sometimes, this unfortunately includes their pets. Although many animal rescue organizations are still working to reunite pets with their owners in the wake of this hurricane, it begs the question for owners everywhere - am I prepared to save my pet in case of a disaster?

There are several ways owners across the nation can make sure they are prepared should disaster ever strike.

1. Be ready to evacuate.
You should always plan on bringing your pet with you when you evacuate your home, so it's important to consider how exactly you will do that. Make sure you have a carrying case, leash or both to keep your pet secure during the process.

2. Pack your bags.
You may have plenty of belongings of your own to think about when you have to evacuate your home during a storm, so it's a good idea to have a bag packed with all of your pet's belongings ahead of time. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals recommends owners pack five to seven days of pet food and water, plus litter trays, litter and trashbags. Your pet's disaster kit should also have first aid materials and all medications you'll need to ensure the best pet health.

3. Where will Fido go?
It's also a good idea to have a plan for where your pets can go for safety when a shelter or hotel does not allow animals. Have a friend or boarding facility lined up that you could bring them to, or look up local vet hospitals that will board dogs in an emergency.

4. ID and tag.
If your pet is not already microchipped, it's a good idea to get this done. Dogster.com reports that when disasters strike, pets may become lost in the fray, get scared or confused and end up miles from home. It's important that your pet's tags are up to date, but if he loses his collar somehow, a microchip will ensure whoever finds him can still find out who he belongs to. Many vets and shelters can scan pets and see who their owners are on a national database. Then, they can return the animal to you from anywhere in the U.S. to prevent this devastating pet loss from being permanent. 

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