Develop an Emergency Plan for Both You and Your Pets

Information from community.fema.gov and ready.gov

If you are like millions of animal owners nationwide, your pet is an important member of your household. When planning your family for disaster, don’t overlook the needs of your cherished family pets.

September is National Preparedness Month (NPM); while you make a plan to prepare your families also consider your family pet. Some of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as assembling an animal emergency supply kit and developing a pet care buddy system, are the same for any emergency.

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 If you evacuate your home, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND! Pets most likely cannot survive alone and if by some remote chance they do, you may not be able to find them when you return.

If you are going to a public shelter, it is important to understand that animals may not be allowed inside. Plan in advance for shelter alternatives that will work for both you and your pets; consider loved ones or friends outside of your immediate area who would be willing to host you and your pets in an emergency. 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 your pets, if you are unable to do so.

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