Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Include Pets in Your Preparedness Plan

For millions of animal owners, pets are important members of the household. The likelihood that you and your animals will survive an emergency such as a fire, flood, tornado or terrorist attack could depend on emergency planning done today. Knowing what supplies to have available, how to evacuate with your pets, where your pets will stay and how you will meet your pets’ needs throughout the disaster are all critical questions to address.

All pet owners are urged to keep a pet emergency supply kit, which should include at least a three-day supply of food in an airtight, waterproof container, drinking water, bowls for the food and water, current photos of you and your pets together, physical descriptions of each pet, medication, vaccination records and first aid pet supplies. Also include a leash and a pet carrier that can double as a sleeping area. You should consider comfort items for your pets as well, such as their favorite toys and blankets.

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 someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so. Talk with your pet care buddy about your evacuation plans and show them where you keep your pets’ emergency supply kit. Also designate specific locations, one in your immediate neighborhood and another farther away, where you will meet your buddy in an emergency.

Evacuating pets may be more difficult if you cannot evacuate in your own vehicle. Pet owners must understand their community’s evacuation plans and ensure they are prepared for any variations and restrictions. If officials call for an evacuation, you should be aware that many evacuation shelters do not accept pets and you must plan where you’ll shelter your pets in advance. Many hotels, motels, campsites and other facilities around the country now allow pets. For information on pet-friendly accommodations in your area, visit

For more information on emergency preparedness, visit or or call the toll-free numbers 1-800-BE-READY, TTY 1-800-462-7585 and     1-888-SE-LISTO. You can also text PREPARE to 43362 (4FEMA) and sign up to receive monthly disaster safety tips on your mobile phone.

Some information for this posting was used from

Click on the link below to tee this additional story from the American Red Cross:

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