National Preparedness Month 2019

Lawrence, KS — September 30th, 2019 — It’s no secret that natural disasters can quickly devastate communities, destroying homes, disrupting lives and often displacing people and pets. As many areas within our region anticipate tornadoes, flooding, severe storms and other natural disasters yearly, families and communities are encouraged to put proactive plans in place in the event that one of these disasters occurs.

However, these plans don’t always keep the safety and welfare of pets in mind.

This year, we’re partnering with Hill’s Pet Nutrition’s Food, Shelter & Love® program to recognize FEMA’s National Preparedness Month and highlight the importance of being pet prepared, not scared ahead of winter.

“Planning ahead is the best way for families to ensure that all members of their family, including pets, are ready to face an emergency,” said Joann Fuller, who oversees Hill’s Food, Shelter & Love® program. “Creating a pet emergency go-kit beforehand can relieve some of the stress families experience and keep pets safe when disasters strike. Our ultimate goal is to reduce the number of cats and dogs that are hurt, displaced or abandoned when communities are impacted by disaster.”

The Lawrence Humane Society is encouraging every pet owner to think about their four-legged family members when preparing their emergency plans.

“Not having a plan for your furry friends during an emergency is just asking for disaster,” Lawrence Humane Society Interim Executive Director Kirk Putman said. “Your pets rely on you to take care of them, even more do in the case of a disaster. Take the proper precautions and you’ll be pet prepared, not scared.”

To help ensure your pet’s safety during an emergency, we recommend the following:

  1. Identification: Ensure your pet’s identification by using a microchip or collar ID tag, and make sure that all contact information is up-to-date. You can update the microchip’s contact information at the manufacturer’s website by locating the code from the barcode sticker or the confirmation form provided by your veterinarian or at the Lawrence Humane Society. The LHS also provides low-cost microchipping for those who can’t afford the full freight.
  2. Go-Kit: Prepare a “Pet Emergency Go-Kit” of pet supplies that is readily accessible in an emergency.
  3. Rescue: Display a pet rescue decal on your front door or window to let first responders know there is a pet in the house. Include your veterinarian’s contact information.
  4. Hiding Places: Learn where your pet likes to hide in your house when frightened. Finding your pet quickly will help you evacuate faster.
  5. Location: Identify a location to take your pet if you need to leave your immediate area. Keep in mind that disaster shelters for people may not be open to pets. Scout hotels and motels with pet-friendly policies and ask relatives or friends if they could house you and your pet.
  6. Photo: Carry a picture of your pet in the event of separation.
  7. Carrier: If you need to evacuate, consider taking a pet carrier or crate for transport and safe-keeping.

Now that you have the steps to be #PreparedNotScared, make your pet emergency plan today.

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