Friday, March 12, 2010

Don’t forget your pets when planning for a disaster

It’s important to remember your whole family when preparing for an emergency, and that includes your furry and feathered family members. You never know when a disaster will strike, so here are some tips from APHA’s Get Ready campaign that you can use to keep your pets safe and happy during an emergency.

• Know what your community’s plan is for pets. Contact your local emergency management team and ask them where you can go during a disaster with your animals. Not all shelters allow pets, so plan ahead.

• Prepare an emergency kit for your pet. Put the kit into a waterproof container and include food and drinking water, toys, medications, pictures of your pets and up-to-date medical information. Think about supplies that are specific to your pet, such as a litter box for your cat, water conditioner for your fish, bedding for your hamster or a blanket to drape over your bird’s cage.

• Put together an emergency plan with a trusted neighbor. Make sure that she or he can enter your home to take care of your pet if disaster happens while you are at work or away from home.

• Get your pet microchipped. That way, animal shelters will be able to scan and identify your pet during a disaster and reunite you. Make sure the microchip registration information is up-to-date with your current phone number, including your cell phone.

For even more tips, download Get Ready’s fact sheet on pet preparedness supplies (PDF). Or check out our exclusive interview with Scotlund Haisley, senior director of emergency services for the Humane Society of the United States, as a Q&A or a podcast.

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