Include animals in your disaster preparedness plan

Do you have a severe weather response plan that covers not only your family but also your animals?

For example, microchipping your pet now can be a lifesaver if your pet is separated from you during a natural disaster.

If your animal is sometimes boarded or stabled away from your home, make sure the business has an emergency response plan that covers natural disasters, fire, and other threatening situations. Ask to see the plan.

If you must evacuate your home, preparations will be different for small vs. large animals. In the event you don’t have a place to shelter your animals, have a plan worked out with family or friends who might not be in the path of danger.

Large animals pose a much greater challenge because they are not accepted in shelters. In some instances the state may provide assistance in sheltering large animals; health papers or a health examination at a state inspection station will likely be required before the animal is allowed in the shelter destination. Large animal owners should be prepared with access to trailers, feed, health papers, and an alternative place to house the animals in the event of a natural disaster.