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National Disaster Preparedness

Some people may look at me and hear my ideas and think I’m a pessimist but actually I’m a realist. I will look at the facts and realize there are just the same amount of chances something good or bad can happen. I would rather be prepared and have nothing happen instead of not being prepared and be up the proverbial creek. May 8 is National Disaster Preparedness Day. A national disaster is described as a major adverse event resulting from natural processes of Earth, such as floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions, etc. This blog isn’t going to be about becoming one of those Doomsday preppers… although a bomb shelter does sound like a good idea at this time… but it breaks my heart every time I see new reports of a flood, hurricane or tornado that has ripped through a community and the pets were left behind.

[Photo via Newscom]

 Most of these animals were house pets who didn’t know how to survive on their own and in events like floods or fires, there’s nowhere they can find something to eat or a place to rest.

 

Pets have been domesticated between 9,500 years ago (cats) to 19,000 years ago (dogs). There is archaeological evidence that humans and their pets have been affected by natural disasters for hundreds of years.

This poor dog was chained to his owner’s property when Mount Vesuvius erupted and covered Pompeii in volcanic ash.

 

Natural disasters are terrifying, stressful, and in a lot of cases, heartbreaking, but you don’t have to add to your loss by having to leave your pets behind. There are a few steps you can take now to ensure you and your pets safety in this type of crisis. There are 3 major steps: Prepare, Plan, and Stay informed.

  1. Prepare :  Have an emergency supply kit. Make sure to have 2 kits – one for you and your family and one for your pets. Make sure you have at least 3 days worth of food in an airtight, waterproof container. Store at least 3 days of water. Include your pet first aid kit, medications, feeding and medication schedules and medical records. Also, include a collar, ID tags, leash, harness and crate.(Make sure collar, harness and crate are secure enough that your pet will not be able to escape from them.) Remember to pack litter and litterbox, paper towels, pads, and trashbags to provide for your pet’s sanitation needs. Keep photos of you and your pet in case you do get separated from your pet. Also, remember to pack familiar items like your pet’s favorite toys and bedding to help reduce stress for your pet.
  2. Plan : Whether you will be able to stay in your home or have to evacuate – plan for both possibilities. Create an evacuation plan to include lodging for both you and your pet. Remember to have names and numbers for emergency animal treatment facilities in your evacuation route.
  3. Stay Informed : Knowing what type of emergency that can affect your region can help establish what type of emergency plan to make.

For more information on how to prepare, visit www.ready.gov.

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