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Disaster Preparedness Pet Kit

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Disaster Planning for You & Your Pet
No matter where you live, the unexpected can happen.  Disasters come in all forms, from blizzards to wildfires, earthquakes to hurricanes, terrorist attacks to floods.  Everyone should have an emergency action plan for when the situation calls for it, and if you have pets, your plan needs to include them.  It's recommended that Palm Beach County residents plan ahead to care for animals if disaster strikes, especially for those living or working in flood zones.

Take Them With You
More than 60% of American households include a pet, and getting through a disaster means including them in your plans.  Be prepared to take your pets with you if evacuation orders are issued.  If it's not safe for you, it's not safe for them.  If you are ordered to seek shelter without evacuation, always bring your pets inside.

Things You Can Do Right Now

  • 1.  Put a collar with visible and accurate identification on your pets, including those who never venture outside and all cats.
  • 2.  Take pictures of you with your pets and keep them with you for identification purposes.
  • 3.  Create a Pet Emergency Kit (see below) and re-stock supplies every few months.
  • 4.  Discuss with your neighbors how they can help your pets if disaster strikes while you're not home.
  • 5.  Have an up-to-date list of human-and-pet-friendly shelters, including a list of hotels that allow pets.  Plan to evacuate 100 miles inland.  Shelters should always be a last resort contact friends and family members first!

Pet Emergency Kit

  • ...3 day supply of food in airtight, waterproof containers
  • ...3 day supply of clean drinking water
  • ...Bowls for food and water
  • ...Current photos and descriptions of your pets
  • ...Medications, vaccination records, first-aid pet supplies
  • ...Favorite toy and blanket
  • ...Small garbage bags
  • ...For dogs:  a leash, harness and sturdy carrier large enough to use as a sleeping area
  • ...For cats:  litter and litter box, and a sturdy carrier that can house your cat for a few days

To Go, or Not To Go?
A Zogby International poll found that 61% of pet owners will not evacuate if they cannot bring their pets with them.  In 2006, Congress addressed this issue by passing the PETS (Pet Evacuation and Transportation Standards) Act, which requires state and local emergency management agencies to make plans that take into account the needs of individuals with pets and service animals in the event of a major disaster or emergency. 

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