By Meghan Tizzano, Community Emergency Preparedness AmeriCorps Member at Jersey Cares.
For millions of Americans, their pets are important members of their family. This means they are also affected by disasters and require specials needs when preparing your household for emergencies. Whether you will be sheltering in place or evacuating your home, it’s imperative to create both plans for your pets, just as you would for the human members of your family.
If you have to evacuate your home, please DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND. They will most likely not be able to survive on their own, and if by some remote chance they do, it is unlikely that you will be able to find them once you can return home.
If you are evacuating to a public shelter, find out ahead of time if they allow animals inside. Many shelters do not, so it’s important to locate shelters that can accommodate your pet or find alternatives that will work for both you and your pets. If there are no shelters that accommodate pets in your area, consider contacting family or friends that live outside the immediate area who would be willing to take in your pet should you need to evacuate to a shelter.
Here are some quick tips to insure that your pet is prepared in case of an emergency:
- Pack pet food, bottled water, medications, veterinary records, and a first aid kit
- Check your pets’ identification tags to insure they’re up-to-date and secure on your pets’ collar
- Make sure you have a secure pet carrier, leash or harness to help transport your pet
Once you’ve prepared your pet for emergencies, help other animals in your area with Jersey Cares animal volunteer projects.
For more information about pet preparedness, please visit http://www.ready.gov/caring-animals.