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May 16, 2018 04:33 PM

After last year’s bevy of natural disasters, now is a good time to plan ahead to make sure your pet is safe when an emergency strikes.

The easiest way to keep your pet safe during a hurricane, flood, wildfire or other natural disaster, especially those that may require you to evacuate, is to take your pet with you.

This is why it’s important to plan in advance. Make sure you have a pet-friendly hotel or friend’s house picked out now that you can evacuate to with your pet.

PEOPLE Pet Vet Dr. Evan Antin also recommends getting informed on your area’s local evacuation plans, so you are not scrambling at the last second with your pet.

If your pet is not microchipped, now is a good time to get this simple task checked off your list. If you and your pet become separated during a disaster, a microchip loaded with your information can be crucial in reuniting you with your furry friend.

If, for some reason, you do need to leave your pet behind, do not leave them tethered as this prevents them from being able to flee danger. Make sure they also have plenty of food and water before you leave.

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