September’s Preparedness Month is an opportunity for Iowans to take steps to make sure they and their families are ready for disasters. But it’s also an opportunity to talk about preparedness for other important members of our families: our pets.
Emergencies require us to quickly take action. The best way to protect our pets is to make sure they are part of our family’s emergency planning.
Here are some pet preparedness tips:
• Make a plan for your pet. Prepare a list of hotels, kennels, friends and family members outside your immediate area where your pet may be able to stay in an emergency.
• Put together an emergency supply kit for your pet. Include enough food for a few days, current vaccination records, current pictures, medications, and treats and small toys to make your pet more comfortable in a stressful or unfamiliar setting.
• When bad weather or other emergency threatens, don’t wait until the last minute to take action. Make sure dogs and cats are wearing collars and identification tags. Have leashes and carriers, along with your pet’s disaster supplies, ready in case you need to evacuate.
For more information on emergency preparedness for pets, visit www.beready.iowa.gov or www.arl-iowa.org/animal-control/pets-in-disaster/default.aspx.
Keith Morgan, Story County Emergency Management Coordinator explained, “Pets have become a very important part of our lives. During a disaster, it’s essential for owners to have a plan and the resources to care for their pets if they have to evacuate. Many times, shelters cannot accommodate pets and knowing your pets are well-cared for because you planned ahead and made arrangements for them will help ease your mind during these difficult times.”
“Beyond our household pets it is important for the livestock producers to be prepared for disasters or emergencies.” Morgan added. “Producers should have a plan on how they will reach, care for, and possibly evacuate their livestock during a disaster.”
Livestock Preparedness Tips:
• Current list of all animals, including their location and records of feeding, vaccinations, and tests. Make sure that you have proof of ownership of all animals.
• Supplies for temporary identification of your animals, such as plastic neck bands and permanent markers to label your animals with name, address and phone number
• Handling equipment such as halters, cages and appropriate tools for each kind of animal.
• Identify alternate water and power sources.
• Secure or remove anything that could become blowing debris.
Iowa’s Preparedness Month is held in conjunction with National Preparedness Month, which was created by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in an effort to educate the public on how to prepare for emergencies.
For more information on Preparedness Month and how to be better prepared for emergencies and disasters, visit Story County Emergency Management website at http://www.storycountyiowa.gov/index.aspx?nid=168.