Protecting Your Pooch

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 Cat VolunteerYOUR 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

Plumping Up Your Piggy Bank

With Tax Day rapidly approaching, making sure you are financially prepared for a disaster is very important when discussing emergency preparedness. Emergency preparedness means more than just determining the disasters in your community and storing enough water and food supplies. Insuring you and your family are financially ready for a disaster is just as important.

Follow these steps to become financially prepared for the next emergency:

  • Plan early and use the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit to help identify important documents for your family (e.g. medical records, household contracts, etc.) and put them in a safe place
  • Enroll in Go Direct, an electronic payment system to insure the quickest delivery of federal benefits
  • Plan ahead of time to recover from the disaster. It’s important to insure your family has time to get back on their feet following a disaster

first aidOnce you and your family have financially planned for a disaster, there are ways to volunteer to help your community become prepared as well. If you are qualified to prepare taxes, reach out to your local nonprofit organizations and offer to help community members prepare their taxes for free.

For more information and resources on how to prepare financially for a disaster, please visit .