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Hurricane tips: Disaster preparedness for your pets

As Hurricane Irene threatens the Northeast, an area widely unfamiliar to hurricane activity, Petfinder.com, the largest online database of adoptable pets, wants all pet parents within the storm’s path to be prepared to keep all family members safe.

As Hurricane Irene threatens the Northeast, an area widely unfamiliar to hurricane activity, Petfinder.com, the largest online database of adoptable pets, wants all pet parents within the storm’s path to be prepared to keep all family members safe.
As Hurricane Irene threatens the Northeast, an area widely unfamiliar to hurricane activity, Petfinder.com, the largest online database of adoptable pets, wants all pet parents within the storm’s path to be prepared to keep all family members safe.

How to take care of your pets during a natural disaster

1. Pet identification

Make sure your cats and dogs are wearing securely fastened collars with up-to-date identification.

2. Contact your local emergency management office

Contact your local animal shelter, elected official office, and emergency management office to inquire what pet disaster plans are in place.

3. Plan ahead

If you have to evacuate, call the community shelter now and check to see if its accepting pets. If it isn't, make other arrangements as soon as possible, such as having your pet stay with a friend, family member, or kennel.

4. Pet carriers

Make sure you have an appropriately-sized crate or carrier for each animal. Pets will be more welcome in an emergency sheltering situation if they are contained. Ask friends, relatives or others outside the affected area whether they could shelter your animals temporarily. Keep pet carriers by the door ready to go.

5. Pet disaster kit

Put together a pet disaster kit that includes medical records, medications, veterinarian contact, first aid kit, collars, leashes, food, water, bowls, litter and pan, and a photo of your pets.

Families can visit PetFinder.com to find disaster preparedness tips in English and Spanish, a downloadable disaster preparedness kit checklist, as well as information on evacuating. 
 
6. Call hotels and motels

Contact hotels and motels outside your immediate area to check policies on accepting pets and restrictions on numbers, size and species. Ask if “no pet” policies could be waived in an emergency.

7. Keep your pets close
 
Bring pets inside well in advance of a hurricane so you don’t have to search for them if you have to evacuate. As a hurricane approaches call ahead to confirm emergency shelter arrangements.

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