In case you're away during a disaster or evacuation order, make arrangements well in advance for someone you trust to take your pets and meet you at a specified location.
If your family and pets must wait out a storm or other disaster at home, identify a safe area of your home where you can all stay together. If you have a room you can designate as a "safe room," put your emergency supplies in that room in advance, including your pet's crate and supplies. Your home may be a very different place after the emergency is over, and it may be hard for your pets to adjust.
Make sure your backup caretaker knows your pets' feeding and medication schedule, whereabouts and habits. If you use a pet-sitting service, find out in advance if they will be able to help in case of an emergency.
If you're forced to leave your home because you've lost electricity, take your pets with you to a pet-friendly hotel. If it's winter, don't be fooled by your pets' fur coats; it isn't safe to leave them in an unheated house. You'll increase your chances of being reunited with pets who get lost by having them microchipped; make sure the microchip registration is in your name.


It may also be a good idea to include the phone number of a friend or relative outside your immediate area—in case you have had to evacuate. Before a disaster hits, call your local office of emergency management to see if you will be allowed to evacuate with your pets and verify that there will be shelters in your area that take people and their pets.
Make a list of boarding facilities and veterinary offices that might be able to shelter animals in disaster emergencies (make sure to include their 24-hour telephone numbers). But keep in mind that shelters have limited resources and are likely to be stretched during a local emergency. Have any medications and a supply of pet food and water inside watertight containers, along with your other emergency supplies. Make sure this backup caretaker is comfortable and familiar with your pets (and vice versa). If you're responsible for other kinds of animals during natural disasters, disaster plans for feral or outdoor cats, horses and animals on farms can be lifesavers.
But remember: The average citizen who finds your pet won't be able to scan for a chip, but they will probably be able to read a basic tag! If you have more than one pet, you may need to arrange to house them at separate locations.


Give your emergency caretaker a key to your home and show them where your pets are likely to be (especially if they hide when they're nervous) and where your disaster supplies are kept.
Some people who have waited to be evacuated by emergency officials have been told to leave their pets behind.
If there is an open fireplace, vent, pet door or similar opening in the house, close it off with plastic sheeting and strong tape. If you stay at home during a summer power outage, ask your local emergency management office if there are pet-friendly cooling centers in the area. Keep a list of animal-friendly places handy, and call ahead for a reservation as soon as you think you might have to leave your home. The smell of smoke or the sound of high winds or thunder may make your pet more fearful and difficult to load into a crate or carrier. If these problems persist, or if your pet seems to be having any health problems, talk to your veterinarian.



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