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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Prepare for your pet during an emergency

Today is National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day. It's a good time to reflect on preparedness for the entire family.

My immediate family consists of my husband, our daughter, myself, and Walter, our Labrador Retriever. Yes, he is most definitely a part of the family and I would do anything to keep him safe, along with the rest of my family. We are not unusual. All you have to do is go online to see how people love their pets and to what extent they would go to in order to care for them.

Hurricane Katrina is a perfect example. At the time, a lot of disaster plans did not take into account how to rescue the pet owner population. Many people did not go with the rescuers because they were not allowed to bring their pets. Thankfully, times have changed and evacuating with animals is highly encouraged.

Recently, I have been updating my family emergency plan, along with our emergency supply kit. Each of these includes Walter. In our emergency plan, the phone number and address of his veterinarian office is listed, along with people I know who would be more than happy to take Walter if we had to evacuate. We also have a neighbor listed to call who can get Walter if we cannot make it back to the house.

Our emergency supply kit has supplies for Walter as well – three days worth of food, water and his medicine. Walter has a supply of treats, a couple of toys, a leash, some poop bags, and his veterinarian records and picture tucked into a baggie. If we had to evacuate, we have a crate we could take with us as well.

If you already have an emergency plan and supply kit, make sure your pet is included. Think about your pet’s specific needs, as a cat will need additional items (litter box and litter) from what I mentioned above.

If you do not have an emergency plan or a supply kit, visit AzEIN’s website  to help you get started. 

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