Don’t Forget Pets When Planning for Disasters

April 1, 2015
 
IEMA, local emergency management agencies to focus on pet preparedness throughout April 

SPRINGFIELD – Pets are treasured family members in more than half of Illinois households. If your family includes a dog, cat, hamster or other furry, feathered or scaly friends, don’t forget to include their unique needs in your home emergency plans.

That’s the message the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and local emergency management agencies will promote throughout April as part of Pet Preparedness Month in Illinois.

“Every home should have an emergency supply kit and plans for how to stay safe when disaster strikes,” said IEMA Director James K. Joseph. “Make sure your kit and emergency plans address the needs of every family member, including your pets. Your preparedness efforts today can help keep everyone in your family, including your pets, safe when disaster strikes.”

Joseph said home emergency supply kits for people should include a three-day supply of such items as food, water, first aid kit, weather alert radio, flashlights, spare batteries and other items. Pet owners should also have a pet preparedness kit stocked with items such as:
  • At least a three-day supply of food and water
  • Extra supplies of pet medicines
  • Copies of pet registration, vaccinations and other important documents
  • Photo of your pet in case you are separated during an emergency
  • Collar with ID tag, harness or leash
  • Crate or other pet carrier in case of evacuation
  • Pet litter and box, newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags and household chlorine bleach for sanitation
  • Toys, treats or other familiar items to reduce your pet’s stress during the emergency
If it’s necessary for you to evacuate your home during a disaster, take your pets with you. An evacuation could last several days, even weeks, and your pets likely cannot survive without care. Plan now for places you and your pets can stay following an evacuation, as many public shelters do not allow animals inside.

It’s also important to have a back-up emergency plan in case you can’t care for your animals yourself. Talk to neighbors, friends and family to make sure someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so.  

Additional pet preparedness and general emergency preparedness information is available on the Ready Illinois website at www.Ready.Illinois.gov, the Ready Illinois Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ReadyIllinois and on Twitter at Twitter.com/ReadyIllinois​
​​​​​