RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — With weather conditions volatile in Central Virginia these days, it’s hard not to think about emergency preparation in the event of a natural disaster. While you most likely have an emergency kit to help your family stay safe during a catastrophe, what about your pets?

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management recommends having two kits on hand for your pets for emergency situations. If you are sheltering in place, the VDEM suggests preparing a larger kit. If an evacuation is needed, then a lightweight version is better. Pet kits should be inspected regularly to ensure that the contents, such as foods or medications, are fresh.

Read on for more suggestions from the VDEM on how to build an emergency kit for your furry friends.

  • Food: Make sure to keep enough food for your pet to last several days in an airtight, waterproof container.
  • Water: Store a water bowl and, again, ensure that there will be enough for several days.
  • Medicine: Keep an extra supply of your pet’s medication in a waterproof container.
  • First aid kit: Talk to your vet to figure out your pet’s needs and appropriate solutions.
  • Collar with ID tag and a harness or leash: Be sure to include a backup leash, collar and ID tag, as well as have copies of your pet’s registration information and other relevant documents in a waterproof container and available electronically.
  • Traveling bag — crate or sturdy carrier: It is ideal to keep one for each pet.
  • Grooming items: If possible, include pet shampoo, conditioner and other items.
  • Sanitation needs: If appropriate, pack pet litter and a litter box. Newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags and household chlorine bleach will also come in handy.
  • A picture of you and your pet together: This will be helpful if you and your pet become separated during the emergency.
  • Familiar items: Familiar items, such as favorite toys, treats or bedding, can help reduce stress for your pet.