As flooding continues in the area, PETA is offering important advice for ensuring the safety of companion animals should residents experience major flooding or be forced to evacuate.

Have your animals microchipped, and put secure, legible ID tags on them.

During a flood, never leave your animals outdoors, tied up, or confined in any way, as they will be trapped and unable to flee rising waters.

In the event of an evacuation, never leave your animals behind to fend for themselves. They aren't equipped to survive disasters any better than humans are.

Know your emergency destination ahead of time. Shelters for human victims don't often allow animals, but motels in the area will probably accept them in an emergency. Call destinations in advance, and find out which ones will accommodate you and your animals.

Never leave animals unsupervised in a car—they can panic and try to escape and/or suffer from heatstroke once ambient temperatures rise above 70 degrees, even if water is provided and the windows are slightly open. Animals can also be stolen from parked vehicles.

Place small animals in secure carriers and keep dogs leashed. Frightening sounds and unfamiliar surroundings may make them bolt. Take water and food bowls, your animals' favorite toy or blanket, a towel, and enough food to last them at least a week.

Watch for other animals in need, including strays and animals who are left behind by neighbors. If you see an animal in distress and are unable to help, note the animal's condition and location and call authorities for help as soon as possible.

 A copy of PETA's disaster-preparedness public service announcement is available to link to or download here. For more information, please visit PETA.org.