Pets are part of your family. Your dogs and cats are well-cared for and you don’t want them harmed or abandoned when emergencies such as fires, floods, and storms strike. The wellbeing of your pets largely depends on the quality of the emergency plan you create beforehand.

Keep these three things in mind:

1. Assemble an animal emergency supply kit which includes food and clean water for seven days, medical supplies and records, comfortable bedding and toys, sanitation bags for waste, a pet carrier and a collar with your pets name on a tag.

2. If you must evacuate your home, make sure you bring your pets with you. However, anticipate that public shelters may not accept pets. This problem is best solved with friends, neighbors, and relatives who are also pet owners.

3. When possible, ensure your pet has had obedience training. A well trained pet will stay close to you during emergencies.

Finally, presence of mind and common sense are two important factors of any emergency plan to make sure everyone (including animals) in your household are kept safe when disaster strikes. For more information about pet care during emergencies: http://www.ready.gov/sites/default/files/documents/files/pets_brochure.pdf