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Some of the same storm systems that spawned the huge tornado that struck Greensburg, KS, dumped a lot of rain around the Topeka area. Many people were rescued from rooftops in a small town just south of Topeka while within Topeka, over 500 people were evacuated. Several times more than that have flooded basements (or ground floors).

The Red Cross put out a call for mental health professionals to volunteer and I'm doing that -- mainly chatting with people waiting to be seen and occasionally assisting RC reps when they were gathering information from someone upset.

While there, I read and picked up a pamphlet "Pets & Disasters: Get Prepared" which has some good advice. I suggest you visit your local RC office and get one. I'll briefly summarize the points here:

Different disasters require different responses -- most require evacuation of your home. If so, take your pet with you.

1. Since RC shelters cannot admit pets (except service animals)
-- contact motels/hotels outside of your area to find which accept pets and keep a list of pet friendly places;
-- or do the same with family, friends, kennels, vets outside your area

2. Assemble a portable pet disaster supplies kit stored ready to go & kept in an accessible place:
-- medications, medical records, 1st aid supplies
-- leashes, harnesses, carriers for safe transport
-- current photos in case pets get lost
-- food, potable water, bowls
-- info on feeding schedules, medical conditions, behavior problems, your vet's name & #
-- pet beds & toys if easily carried

3. Know what to do as a disaster approaches
-- call ahead to confirm emergency shelter arrangements for you & pets
-- check to make sure disaster supplies are ready to take at a moment's notice
-- bring all pets inside so you won't have to search for them
-- all pets should wear collars with securely fastened identification: phone & address of temporary shelter &/or a friend or relative outside the disaster area.
-- in case you're not at home when an evacuation order comes, see if a trusted neighbor can meet you at a pre-arranged location.
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