STUDIO CITY (CBS/KCAL) — Each year, hundreds of pets are lost during natural disasters, and many are never reunited with their owners in the aftermath due to lack of proper identification. That’s why the American Red Cross has named April National Pet First Aid Awareness Month to create awareness about precautionary measures pet owners can take to prepare for disasters.

Dr. Silene Young visited the KCAL9 studios on Tuesday to give viewers tips on how to handle pets during a disaster.

Preparing for a Disaster and Evacuation:

– Make sure your pet can be identified with an I.D. tag and microchip. Don’t forget to register the microchip with a locator database.
– If evacuation occurs, don’t wait to the last minute and don’t leave your pet at home. Think of a place to take your pet ahead of time.
– Have an emergency kit with basic pet care items, including a two-week supply of food and water.
– Keep a cat carrier and/or dog leashes near the front door and within reach.
– Leave pet information, such as type, amount and behavior tendencies, at your front door in case you must evacuate before going home and authorities search the neighborhood for those left behind.

Pet Care During and After Evacuation:

– Keep the animal confined when staying in your pre-designated temporary location and maintain confinement when you return home.
– If the pet has been deprived of food, slowly re-introduce food in small portions when returning home.
– View the pet’s environment and spot out any potential hazards, such as broken glass or fallen utility lines.
– Take the pet for a medical check-up to ensure the animal’s health hasn’t been affected.

For more tips and information on pet insurance, click here.

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