The month of September is National Preparedness Month. Being prepared for what to do before and after a natural disaster is important and so is knowing what to do with your pet in case of an emergency.

Preparing for a weather emergency may be easy if you’re only planning for yourself but getting things ready for your pet is different.

“Make sure you have all of your pet’s information, any medication your pet may be on, make sure you get any refills ahead of time, of course, have food on hand, set aside water for yourself and your family and include your pets.”

Rebeca Villanueva, director of development at Palm Valley Animal Shelter, says you should have an emergency bin filled with items your pet may need, such as extra collars, leashes, food, and important information just like you would have for yourself in case you have to evacuate.

If you can’t leave due to heavy rainfall, lightning, thunder or flooding, keeping your usual routine the same can help your furry friend remain calm.

“Anytime there are loud noises try to keep the house setting as comfortable and normal as possible. Sometimes it also helps include a blanket that smells like your home or smells like you, that will help your pet feel a little more a ease.”

If you have an outdoor pet, it’s recommended to take them indoors because they may feel frightened.

“So anytime we have different weather that we bring our pets in, just like us they get scared so high winds can not only be scary but it can also be dangerous.”

Experts advise that if your pet feels stressed during the harsh weather, it’s important to try and seek medical attention with their vet.