September 01, 2020 Pet Safety Pets and Family

Disaster Planning Resources for Pet Families

A pet emergency kit checklist

Disaster Planning Resources for Pet Families


September is disaster preparedness month. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) website lists five types of disasters American households should prepare for: the coronavirus pandemic, hurricanes, fires, extreme heat, and flooding. If you have been watching the news lately, you already know Americans are experiencing all five of these natural disasters simultaneously.

If the current news hasn’t forced you to prepare for a natural disaster, this blog post details the disaster planning process and provides some resources to help you get going on the project.

Disaster Planning Phases

Comprehensive emergency management involves mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. An example of mitigation would be keeping your short-nosed dog in the air-conditioned house during a heat wave to prevent a flare up of brachycephalic airway syndrome. Preparedness is what most of think of a disaster planning — making a go bag, identifying a family meeting place and stockpiling supplies for all family members including pets, for example. Response involves taking your go-bag, putting pets in their carriers and evacuating when the authorities say it’s time to leave town. Recovery is getting your life back to normal through government support, insurance payments and cleanup measures.

Disaster Preparedness for Pets

To get started on your pet disaster preparedness plan, check the emergency planning website of your city or state emergency organization for pet planning recommendations.

FEMA also has pet preparedness suggestions. If you need more ideas on what to do to make the best plans possible for your pet, try veterinary organizations like the American Veterinary Medication Association or the ASPCA.

Using the Internet in a Disaster

In addition to finding information about disaster planning on the web, the internet has other useful tools for your digital go bag. Download the FEMA app, which provides weather updates, shelter locations and other useful emergency information. Use Facebook’s Safety Check feature to let your family know you are safe. The quintessential disaster relief organization, the American Red Cross has a Safe & Well site where you can post your status and a message on a searchable list. This is a nice list of specialized apps to be used in a disaster.

The Animal Medical Center staff hopes you and your furred and feathered friends are safe and no where near a disaster zone. But if you are and have a plan in place, you have the best chance of riding out the storm safely.

Tags: disaster planning, disaster planning for pets, disaster preparedness, disaster preparedness month, FEMA,

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