Preparing Your Pets for Emergencies

If recent events have taught Americans anything, it’s the importance of preparing their entire families – including their pets – for emergencies.

“It’s important to consider your pets in your emergency plans,” said Warren Eckstein, an animal expert and nationally syndicated radio host. “Pets rely on their owners for food, water, and shelter. Remembering your pets in your emergency plans can help minimize their stress and increase their odds of survival in an emergency.”

That’s why the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Ready Campaign has teamed up with several animal care organizations, including the American Kennel Club and the American Veterinary Medical Association, to educate pet owners about the simple steps they can take to prepare their animals for emergencies.

Together they have produced a new emergency preparedness brochure for pet owners that is now available on the Ready Campaign Web site  or by calling 1-800-BE-READY.

The new brochure highlights three key steps pet owners should take to prepare themselves and their animals:

* Prepare: Get an emergency supply kit including food, water, medicines and medical records, collar with ID tag, a leash or harness, and a recent picture of the pet with its owner.

* Plan: Create an emergency plan by learning which shelters in the area and/or along the evacuation route will allow pets in the event of an emergency. Also, plan with neighbors, friends or relatives to develop a buddy system to make certain that someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so.

* Stay Informed: Know about different types of emergencies that are likely to affect your region, as well as emergency plans that have been established by your state and local government.

According to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, 63 percent of U.S. households have a pet. The likelihood that these Americans and their animals will survive an emergency depends on the individual’s emergency planning done today.

“Ready is a national public service advertising campaign designed to educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to emergencies,” said Kristin Gossel, Director of Homeland Security’s Ready Campaign. “We are pleased to introduce this new brochure that reminds Americans to take special considerations for their pets when making their emergency preparedness plans.”

For more information about emergency preparedness, , or call 1-800-BE-READY. (SPM Wire)





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