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April 23, 2014

If you are like millions of animal owners nationwide, your pet is an important member of your household. When preparing your family for disaster, don’t overlook the needs of your cherished family pets. The likelihood that you and your animals will survive an emergency such as a fire, flood, tornado or other hazard depends on the emergency planning you do today.


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. Always remember that your safety is paramount, but plan to take care of your pets in an emergency situation too.


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 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.


To ensure you, your family, and your pets have plenty of time to take action in an emergency, be sure you have a NOAA weather radio because Early Warning is Your Best Protection™.


For more information, check out the following resources:


“Preparing Makes Sense for Pet Owners” video


www.Ready.gov/caring-animals


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