Disaster strikes and you've lost your pet: What do you do?

PORTLAND, Ore. - It's not just you that needs care when disaster hits - so do your pets.

September is National Preparedness Month and KATU has partnered with Clackamas Fire to give you some tips to help you out in an emergency.

Jo Becker, a technical animal rescuer, says the most important step when it comes to pets is to take care of the obvious - keep enough extra food, water and medications around - just in case.

And if you and your pet get separated in a disaster, there is another danger you need to be aware of - disasters bring out people who are looking to steal your animals.

"In large-scale disasters, we've unfortunately seen in a lot of cases where people are looking for certain breeds," she said. "They are often searching for dogs or other high-prized breeds."

Becker said thieves will often pretend they are the pet's owner to get their hands on what they want.

But you can plan for this.

Keep pictures of you and your pet in your emergency kit. Also, keep an extra collar and tag handy, especially if your pet doesn't normally wear one. And finally, once a disaster strikes, you can use non-toxic spray paint to put your phone number on the hide of larger pets.

Becker is hosting a series of classes on how to keep your pet safe in a disaster if you would like to learn more. Follow this link for details.