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Posts Tagged ‘Pet Preparedness’

June is National Pet Preparedness Month

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016
Image provided courtesy of FEMA

Photo courtesy of FEMA

According to the American Humane Association, June is National Pet Preparedness Month. Pet safety is important because animals suffer in the face of natural and man-made disasters in many of the same ways as their human counterparts. The American Veterinary Medical Foundation reports that 36.5 percent of American households include a dog, 30.4 percent have a cat, 3.1 percent own a bird and 1.5 percent include a horse. With such robust pet-representation and because our corporate mascot, RJ the Firedog, is a Dalmatian, we thought it fitting to focus this week’s post on the importance of making safety preparations for your pets.

Whether the disaster you and your pet face affects an entire community of just your household, there are steps you can take before emergency strikes:

  1. Order a pet alert sticker. Offered free of charge from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), these stickers are placed near the front door to alert first responders about the presence of a pet. In addition to noting on the sticker whether pets have been evacuated, information should include the types and numbers of pets in the home.

    Photo courtesy of FEMA   

    Photo courtesy of FEMA

  2. Choose designated care givers or arrange a safe haven. Pets should never be left behind in unsafe conditions. So, before disaster strikes, contact your vet to ask for contact information for suitable boarding kennels and foster care shelters for pets. Click here for information about local animal shelters.
  3. Identify dog-friendly hotels and motels in the area, in case your entire family is evacuated. Or ask friends and relatives if they would be willing to temporarily house your pet if the need arises.
Photo courtesy of FEMA

Photo courtesy of FEMA

During an emergency

  • Stay calm. This will help you handle the disaster and, since pets can sense emotion, it will help lessen their stress.
  • Bring pets indoors, at the first sign of an emergency. Animals can easily become disoriented and could wander away during a crisis.
  • Create a “lost pet” flier to store on your smartphone, so you will be prepared to instantly share via social media, if your pet is lost.
  • Prepare an emergency kit for your pets.

What to include in a pet preparedness kit (FEMA recommends building one for humans and another one specifically for pets. And the American Red Cross and CDC implore pet owners to include their furry friends in emergency prep.):

  • Water – enough for at least three days
  • A week’s supply of canned or dry dog food (Don’t forget the can opener!)

    Image courtesy of FEMA

    Image courtesy of FEMA

  • Bowls for food and water
  • 2-week supply of prescription pet meds
  • Collar & leash and/or pet carrier (Make sure all tags include updated information or consider having your pet micro-chipped.)
  • Medical records, including record of immunizations
  • First Aid Kit with pet-specific items
  • Contact list including info for pet-friendly hotels and veterinarians
  • Favorite toys and comfort items
  • Disposable bags for dogs, litter boxes for cats
  • Photo of your pet
  • Flashlight
  • Blanket
  • Click here for a list of supplies to include in your emergency kit for humans.

Be sure to think about ways to #BeSafe all of the time, not only during pet preparedness month and not just relative to your pets. After all, preparation for humans and pets can save lives. A convenient and affordable way to make sure you are prepared for disasters and emergencies of virtually every kind is to subscribe to the Allied Universal Training System by Universal Fire/Life Safety Services, which has been designed to help improve and save lives. For more information about the best system out there, or to subscribe, click here.

April is Earthquake Preparedness Month—How to Prepare for Your Pets

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

April is Earthquake Preparedness Month. So, in honor of that auspicious occasion, we would like to share some tips for making sure your preparedness efforts extend to your four-legged friends:

Before the Earthquake

  • Prepare. Bring pets into home before storms. Make sure pet areas are secure and free from falling object danger. Crate training is helpful.
  • Keep a list of phone numbers handy. Include current photos and physical description.
  • Confirm your emergency evacuation plans. Practice with everyone, including your pets.
  • Make a list of people who could potentially take care of your pet in your neighborhood as well as outside the area where you live, in case you are away from home when earthquakes strike. Identifying alternative housing for your pets will ensure their safe relocation during an evacuation.
  • Include family, friends and neighbors in the development of your emergency plans. Figure out who would be willing to care for your pets in your absence. Agree in advance how the exchange would happen and provide written authority for them to act on your behalf. Review and update the plan annually using a date that is easy to remember (like your pet’s birthday or annual vaccination appointment).
  • Prepare a “Go Bag” for your pet. Here are a few ideas for what you should include:
  1. Food
  2. Bottled water
  3. Bowls
  4. Cleaning supplies (pooper scooper, disposal bags, litter scooper)
  5. Extra collar and leash
  6. First aid kit
  7. Prescription medications
  8. Disposable litter box
  9. Cat litter
  • Crate (Some manufacturers make soft-sided, easy-to-store crates for travel.) Make sure ID tags and licenses are up to date. If possible, ask your vet about implanting a microchip in your pet. Pets with microchips are more likely to be safely returned to their owners in times of emergency.
  • Keep up on vaccinations. Make sure your pet is current on all booster shots for common contagious diseases. In an emergency, your pet could be placed with other animals that could be harboring illness.
  • Make sure your dog or cat is obedient and well trained. Enroll in obedience classes if necessary. During an emergency it will be critical that your dog obeys you and can be housed cooperatively with other animals or people.
  • Keep pet travel packs in easy-to-access locations.

After the Earthquake

  • Grab your pet’s “Go Bag” and implement your emergency plan.
    Be prepared for aftershocks, which are likely following any magic quake. Pets are ultra-sensitive to their masters’ state of mind. So try to remain calm.
  • Try to keep your pet calm. Recognize they may be frightened or disoriented and may not behave as usual. Try to protect them from frightening experiences and monitor them closely when they interact with other animals or people, particularly children.
  • If your pet is lost, contact your local animal shelter immediately.
  • Do not allow pets to roam freely. Keep them on a leash, even if they normally follow you everywhere. They will be scared and will appreciate more structure in a stressful situation.
  • Pets can become easily confused and disoriented. Try to get them on a regular schedule as soon as possible after earthquake or other emergency.
  • Monitor news stations for reports of disaster and evacuation orders, and release of those orders.
  • Contact your local animal control shelter for assistance. Many provide emergency evacuation services and even provide temporary housing for displaced animals.

After the Emergency Ends

  • Allow for the fact your pet may remain fearful or uncertain even weeks after the earthquake emergency. Return to normalcy as soon as possible and monitor your pet for several weeks to make sure he or she is adjusting.
  • Check your home and property for hidden dangers and new escape routes before you bring your pet home.
  • Keep pets securely confined if work crews arrive to repair property damage.

When a disaster of any kind strikes, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives. For the latest emergency management training for facility/building managers, contact Allied Universal, Inc. Our new Version 2.5 e-based training system offers the best emergency training system with automated and integrated features. What’s more, the NEW Allied Universal Property Messaging System is included FREE for all Allied Universal Online Training System users. Visit www.rjwestmore.com for more information.