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Pet Preparedness

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Photo of puppy with first aid kitFor many of us, our pets are important members of our household. Unfortunately, animals can also be affected by disaster, so we must plan for them just as we plan for other members of our family.

The likelihood that you and your animals will survive an emergency such as a fire, flood, or earthquake depends largely on the steps you take before those incidents occur. Some of the things you can do to prepare, such as assembling an pet emergency supply kit, are the same for any emergency. Including your pet in your emergency plan is important. Whether you decide to stay put in an emergency or evacuate to a safer location, you will need to make plans in advance for your pets. Keep in mind that what's best for you is typically what's best for your animals.

Plan for pet needs during a disaster by:
  • Identifying shelter. For public health reasons, many emergency shelters cannot accept pets. Use a guide or an app to determine what nearby hotels/motels allow pets. Consider loved ones or friends outside of your immediate area who would be willing to host you and your pets in an emergency.
  • Create an emergency kit for your pet. Include pet food, bottled water, medications, veterinary records, cat litter/pan, manual can opener, food dishes, first aid kit and other supplies specific to your pet’s needs. Also consider making this kit portable so it could be easily brought with you if disaster hits.
  • Make sure identification tags are up-to-date and securely fastened to your pet's collar. If possible, attach the address and/or phone number of your evacuation site. If your pet gets lost, his tag is his ticket home.
  • Make sure you have a current photo of your pet for identification purposes.
  • Make sure you have a secure pet carrier, leash or harness for your pet so that if he panics, he can't escape.
  • If your pet has a microchip, ensure your contact information is correct and your subscription is current (if applicable). Add a current photo to their profile.
  • Make a back-up emergency plan in case you can't care for your animals yourself. Develop a buddy system with neighbors, friends, and relatives to make sure that someone is available to care for or evacuate you are unable.

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