Sunday, September 08, 2019

September is National Disaster Preparedness Month

There are many things to consider when you care about your pets' safety and welfare, especially during each storm season. September, for example, most commonly features hurricanes. Winter may present freezing and avalanche conditions. And summertime can bring devastating rain storms, tornadoes, and of course, extreme heat that can kill quickly without protection from the elements.

To prepare for each type of weather event, as well as unexpected disasters (wildfires, earthquakes, tornadoes and various man-made scenarios), anyone with animals to care for should create a plan to handle whatever comes up.

A written disaster plan will help you and your pets survive. Identify your evacuation zone and level to determine if and when you would have to evacuate. If you are located in a storm surge area or flood plain, or in the path of a tornado, the decision to evacuate will depend on the category of the storm and on broadcast reports or warnings to do so. Always prepare for a worse emergency than is expected. If things do get worse, you won't have time to change your plans.

Evacuation information, as well as additional preparedness guidelines, may be obtained from your local Emergency Management office.

Your goal should be to evacuate to a safe location close to home, if possible. Long-distance evacuation is not recommended as highways will be crowded. Friends or relatives in a safe area are your best choice. The comfort of knowing you are safe together far outweighs any inconvenience. If they are unable to house both you and your animals, arrange shelter for your animals at a veterinarian or kennel close to your evacuation location so you will be able to have as much contact with them as possible. You and your pets will fare better if you are together.

If you plan to go to a motel, determine in advance whether pets are welcome and what, if any, special rules are applicable. When you have determined a safe location for your evacuation, assist the host property owner in developing their disaster plan!

Here is a great resource to help you create your plans:

Also, please feel free to explore all the resources listed on my disaster website, here:

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