Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Preparedness for Pet Owners

Seattle has perhaps more pets per capita than a lot of other cities. I know many folk who are very devoted to their household pets. Have we thought to include them in our emergency plans? What if you're at work when disaster strikes? Can a neighbor get into your house and take care of them? It's the same principles which work for helping out your neighbors. Seattle Office of Emergency Management has published a leaflet "Disaster Preparedness for Pet Owners" which you might want to pick up to learn more. Below is a short section from the leaflet.

All responsible pet owners need to think about how they will take care of their animals when disaster strikes. The same advice for human preparedness goes for preparing for your pets. Be prepared to take care of yourself, your family (including pets) and your neighbors for a minimum of three days without any help from
the City resources.

For health and space reasons, pets are not allowed in public emergency shelters. However, in most states, trained guide dogs for persons with disabilities will be allowed to stay in emergency shelters with their owners.

Make arrangements for your pets as part of your household disaster planning. If you must evacuate your home, it’s always best to take your pets with you. If, as a last resort, you have to leave your pets behind, make sure you have a plan to ensure their care.

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