Disaster Planning: It’s for Pets, Too!
September is National Preparedness Month, which makes it a good time to assess your readiness to respond to a disaster. For pet parents this includes planning in advance how you will provide for your pets’ needs in the event of an emergency. Pets are members of your family, and you’ll want to make sure that every family member is considered in your preparedness efforts.
You can take these important steps now to safeguard your pets:
— Have your dog or cat microchipped (a permanent ID that, unlike a collar and tag, won’t come off) to help you and your pet be reunited should you become separated.
— Assemble an emergency “Go Bag” that includes pet food, water, medications, vaccination records, and other important supplies your pet will need if you have to leave your home.
— Set up a pet buddy system with neighbors or friends to ensure that someone is available to care for your pets or evacuate them if you are not around to do it.
If circumstances require you to evacuate your home, take your pets with you! In New York City, emergency shelters allow pets to accompany their people. If you have no alternative plan for your pets (such as having them stay with family members or friends outside the emergency area), you can bring them with you to an emergency shelter in New York City.
The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals is one of numerous organizations working with the Office of Emergency Management in New York City to ensure the safety of pets in an emergency. For more information about how you can prepare for your pets’ safety, visit AnimalAllianceNYC.org/yourpet/emergencies.htm.
– Steve Gruber
Director of Communications, Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals