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Emergency Planning For Pets May 21, 2010 7:02 AM

What If Disaster Strikes? Emergency Planning for Pets As Hurricane Katrina, 9/11, and the current tragedies in the Gulf Coast region and Tennessee illustrate, disasters come in all shapes and sizes. Even with the aid of disaster response teams, homes and families were devastated by these destructive events—and many evacuees lost their companion animals. With hurricane season just around the corner, the ASPCA reminds you to help keep your family intact by creating an emergency evacuation plan. Even if you don’t live in an area that’s known for dangerous weather, please take the following simple actions before you’re forced to confront a catastrophe. •Have an Evacuation Plan in Place Plan for the worst-case scenario. Store an emergency kit and leashes as close to an exit as possible, make sure all your pets are wearing proper identification and consider your evacuation route ahead of time. Download our Ready Pets brochure (pdf) on pet-friendly evacuation for more information. •Arrange a Safe Haven Don’t leave your pet behind if you’re forced to evacuate. Find out if there are emergency animal shelters in your area. If not, take these steps to keep your pet safe. •Pre-Pack an Emergency Kit Prepare a “go kit” of essential pet supplies before disaster strikes, and make sure that everyone in the family knows where it is. The kit should be clearly labeled, easy to carry and should include items such as a pet first aid kit, recent photos of your animal companion and any medications on which his health depends. •Choose a Designated Caregiver Consider who you’d like to act as your pet’s temporary caregiver should you not make it home in time to retrieve your pet. Make sure the person you choose agrees to take on the responsibility, has a key to your residence and has spent time getting to know your animal companion. •Get a Rescue Alert Sticker Affix these decals, available for free from the ASPCA website, to the windows of your home to alert rescue officials that a pet lives inside. Visit the Disaster Preparedness, section of our website to read our complete list of tips available in both English and Spanish.

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