By Rebecca Marquis, Acting Director, Ready Campaign
If you are like millions of animal owners nationwide, your pet is an important member of your household. The likelihood that you and your animals will survive an emergency such as a fire or flood, tornado or terrorist attack depends largely on emergency planning done today.
September is National Preparedness Month (NPM), which is a great time to get your family and your family pet Ready. This year, NPM is focusing on changing perceptions about emergency preparedness and helping Americans understand what it truly means to be Ready. Preparedness goes beyond fire alarms, smoke detectors, an extra leash and extra food and pet food in the pantry. It means doing things like preparing an animal Emergency Supply Kit and developing a pet care buddy system. To help you, the Ready Campaign has made it easy with four simple steps: get an Emergency Supply Kit; make a Family Emergency Plan; be informed about emergencies and their appropriate responses; and get involved in community efforts such as Citizen Corps.
The Ready Campaign and Citizen Corps, with support from coalition members across the nation, including a range of state and local governments, businesses, and organizations, is urging pet owners to take action during NPM to plan for their pets’ safety if an emergency strikes their community. Throughout September, activities and events will take place across this country to highlight the importance of emergency preparedness and promote individual involvement, such as first aid trainings, town hall meetings and much more.
At www.ready.gov, or by calling 1-800-BE-READY, pet owners can receive free emergency preparedness information on how to properly prepare for their pets, including how to assemble a pet Emergency Supply Kit, develop a pet care buddy system and how to make plans in advance for their animals if they need to evacuate. In addition, an instructional video is available at: http://www.ready.gov/america/about/instructional.html that demonstrates how to make an emergency plan for your pets.