(Fairfax, VA) – As September’s National Emergency Preparedness Month nears, Pet Parents are reminded to include pets in emergency preparedness plans for you and your family. Two-thirds (67%) of pet-owning households would refuse to evacuate if they could not take their pets with them (American Kennel Club survey). Some emergencies may require you to hunker down at home or where you are (shelter-in-place, SIP) and take care of your pet without being able to go outside. Some emergencies may require you to leave or evacuate you home. The following are some tips to help you begin to prepare your pet family in case of emergency.
Natural & man-made disasters come in different ways including home fires, severe summer or winter storms, hurricanes, floods, chemical spills; most without much warning. These incidents do occur in the Washington Metro area. “The time to prepare is over when the time of need or emergency arrives.” The first step in preparing for an emergency is to have a plan for the human members of your home. If you are unprepared to take care of yourself, you’re reducing the chances you’ll be able to care for you pets. Three basic steps can save your life and the life of your pet. 1. Plan. 2. Prepare. 3. Practice! Don’t put off getting started, your life and your pet’s life could depend on it!
A well designed emergency response plan checklist will guide you through gathering the information and supplies you’ll need to evacuate quickly and safely. Start with window alert stickers displaying “Animal(s) Inside” to let emergency personnel know there are animals in the home that need to be rescued. The label can be homemade.
Form agreements with neighbors to help each other in case you can’t get home to take care of the pet. Designate someone to evacuate your pet if you aren’t home at the time of an emergency. Make a list of pet friendly hotels. Not all pet friendly hotels will take cats, large dogs, or other animals, so check before adding them to your list. Know which evacuation shelters allow pets and what is required.
For information on Emergency Pet Preparedness and Pet First Aid classes, visit www.BeckysPetCare.com.