HOUSTON (KIAH) – June is National Pet Preparedness Month, and Harris County Pets (HCP), resourced by Harris County Public Health (HCPH), want to remind everyone that it is crucial to include pets in their disaster plans so they too are ready during an emergency.

Pets depend on their owners to keep them safe. Harris County officials urged resident to not wait until the last minute to prepare. Also, if you need to evacuate your home during an emergency, never leave your pets behind.

The following is a list of ways to prepare for an emergency:

  • Ensure your pet can be identified with a microchip or collar ID tag, and that your contact information is up to date.
  • Keep health/vaccination records in a safe place and take copies of these if you are leaving your home.
  • Prepare a pet emergency supplies kit that is readily accessible when needed. Include toys, treats and bedding.
  • Bring pets indoors at the first sign or warning of a storm or disaster. Pets can become disoriented and wander away from home in a crisis.
  • Learn where your pet likes to hide in your house when frightened. Finding your pet quickly will help you evacuate faster.
  • If you need to evacuate, take a pet carrier or crate for transport and safekeeping.
  • Identify a location to take your pet if you need to leave your immediate area. Keep in mind that disaster shelters for people may not be open to pets. Find hotels and motels with pet-friendly policies and ask relatives or friends if they can house you and your pet.
  • Carry a picture of your pet in the event of separation. (You can take a selfie of you and your pet together in advance to help others identify you as the owner if you need help finding them.)

For pet preparedness information and other resources, visit www.CountyPets.com or www.hcphtx.org/vph.