\nHave you thought enough about what you would do if there was a natural disaster and you were forced to evacuate your home? Maybe you have a plan with your family on how you would communicate if the cell towers go out. Do you have a first aid or safety kit stashed under your bed? In your car? Under your bed and in your car and in your closet? (You can never be too safe, right!)\nWhat about your dog?\nDid you know that in times of natural disaster, American Red Cross help centers and locations cannot take in pets due to health and safety concerns? Alarming as that may sound, there are steps you can take in advance to secure your fur-baby\u2019s well-being if something major happens.\u00a0Who ever said\u00a0being a loyal pet parent was easy?\nWell, not to worry. A little preparation can go a long way in keeping your pet safe, if and when disaster strikes. Here\u2019s how to prepare for your furry friend in case of emergency:\nMake sure your dog has accurate identification\n\nIf you don\u2019t already have accurate identification for your dog, take some time to update it. This includes microchipping your dog as well as outfitting him/her with ID collars and tags that list his/her name, your name, your phone number and any urgent information a stranger would need to know, such as your dog\u2019s medical needs.\nPut together a doggie evac-pack\n\nPut together an emergency grab-and-go kit for your dog and keep it as close as possible to one of your home\u2019s exits. Your pup should have her own pack, separate from the one for your family, in case you need to leave her with someone else during the disaster.\nInclude these items in your doggie evac-pack:\n\nA leash and harness (always good to have a couple as back-up)\n3-7 days worth of dry or canned food (be sure to rotate this food out every 2 months so you aren\u2019t left with anything spoiled in an emergency)\nA 7-day supply of water per pet (at least) along with a water/food bowl\nGarbage bags for clean up\nRecent photos of your pet in case you become separated\nYour dog\u2019s favorite toys and chews (Bully Buddy anyone?) to help him feel safe and at home in an unfamiliar or scary situation\nBlankets to stay warm\n\nGet pet rescue alert stickers\n\nPet rescue alert stickers can be placed on the front window of your home to let search and rescue teams know how many animals to look for in the event they need to search your home or its remains. These stickers also allow you to mark your pets as \u201cevacuated\u201d which tells search and rescue teams that you and your pet have safely left the house. You can find pet rescue window decals at most major pet stores and on Amazon.com.\nPlan for the events that are most likely to occur in your area\n\nIf you live in the rural Midwest, where tornadoes are more common, fix your evac-pack with tornados in mind. If you live in the West where we are waiting on the next big earthquake to strike at any moment, it\u2019s best to prepare with specific earthquake pet safety tips.\nKnow where you can go with your dog for additional help\nFind out\u00a0which local hotels and shelters will allow pets during emergencies, so you don\u2019t get turned away just because Fido comes as a package deal. Also, make a list of close friends or family that may be willing to temporarily watch your pet during an emergency, just in case you need a safe place for your pet to stay while you assess your situation.\nBoth the Red Cross and ASPCA have mobile apps to assist in the event of an emergency where you can find tips, tricks and resources for what to do in any given situation, even if there is no cell service. Both are free and available in the Apple or Android App Store.\nRelated Resources\nHow to find pet-friendly accommodationsAccording to the Pet Poison Helpline, these household items are the most toxic to your dogBully Stick Best Practices: Why does matching your dog\u2019s weight with the right-sized bully stick matter?