|Here is the American Humane Association's list of eight key precautions to take on behalf of your animals:|
|1.||Take your pets with you. If you must evacuate your house, do not leave your pet behind. If it is unsafe for you to remain, then it is unsafe for your pet as well.|
|2.||Place an out-of-state contact name and number, along with your own, on your pet's ID tag.|
|3.||Have your pet's health certificate and a photo handy at all times to prove ownership if you're separated from your pet during a disaster.|
|4.||Keep your pet's vaccination record with you in case you have to board your pet or leave the state.|
|5.||Purchase a leash and a portable carrier large enough for your pet to stand up and turn around in.|
|6.||Ask your local animal shelter if they have an evacuation plan for animals, and if they'd be able to care for your specific type of pet during an emergency.|
|7.||List friends and relatives who could care for your pet for an extended period of time if you lose your home.|
|8.||Create a list of boarding facilities within a 100-mile radius of your home and a list of nearby hotels that accept pets and under what circumstances.|
Remember that you can never be too prepared. When disaster strikes, phone lines go down, public facilities become overwhelmed, and essential services are often unavailable.
Animal Planet Rescue, an outreach effort launched by the American Humane Association, the cable channel Animal Planet, and local cable operators, is a one-of-a-kind animal rescue vehicle and program. The vehicle carries a Pathfinder four-wheel drive ambulance donated by Nissan Motor Corporation USA, a mobile vet clinic, specialized animal rescue equipment, rescue rafts and boats, as well as water tanks, animal feed, kennels and corrals to house rescued animals. In addition, this high tech command center can house up to eight rescue personnel.
The American Humane Association has been helping animals in disasters since World War I when asked by the US government to form a rescue and ambulance service for injured cavalry horses. The past five years have been among the busiest ever for AHA's emergency animal relief. AHA has rescued animals after every major recent disaster including earthquakes, hurricanes and floods. AHA operates under a statement of understanding the American Red Cross as a national coordinator of outside disaster assistance for animals.