If you were required to evacuate your house today, are you prepared? What if you had 3 hours to prepare? How about 30 minutes? What would you take with you? Do you have easy access to crates, leashes, food and water for your animals? Where would you go? Do you know where you can stay that will allow your dogs, cats, and/or other animals?

Natural disasters can occur anywhere. Tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, fires. Where we live, along the foothills in Colorado, our most likely concern is fire. Earlier this week, we received a pre-evacuation notice from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office regarding a fire near the Devil’s Head area. Fortunately, it was contained quickly and the pre-evacuation notice was lifted.

We already have an evacuation list of what to pack and take with us depending upon how much time we have. However, this brush with evacuation was a wake-up call to make sure we are perhaps better prepared. We have our list, but how quickly can we really pull things together? Do we know where all these items are? Do we need to update or replace any items we have not used in quite some time? (Batteries, water, emergency food, etc.)

There are several websites that offer guidance in preparation for emergencies. The Red Cross has information on preparing to care for your pets in case of a disaster:
http://www.redcross.org/prepare/location/home-family/pets

FEMA also has information on preparing for an emergency with your pets:
http://www.ready.gov/caring-animals

If you do not have an emergency evacuation plan already prepared, you might want to do so now. While I hope you will never need to use it, it’s good to be prepared just in case.