National Pet Preparedness Month takes place in June and reminds pet owners to always prepare emergency plans for their animal friends so that they can weather emergency conditions safely. Pets are as much victims of natural and man-made disasters as humans and, therefore, owners must also be prepared to evacuate their pets with the supplies necessary for their needs.
History of National Pet Preparedness Month
In the event of facing an emergency or natural disaster, it is paramount that everyone in your house gets out safely, including your pets. From house fires and blackouts to hurricanes and floods, such events are frightening for us and can be more so for pets, who rely on their owners to keep them safe. Thus, having emergency plans for your pets is crucial in making sure they get out and handle the situation safely.
Emergency plans can range from knowing where to gather following an emergency, placing leashes or pet food in easy-to-remember places, or constructing go kits that contain everything that your pet needs to weather emergencies, such as food, leashes, medication, clothes, and others. It can also consist of identifying nearby shelters that can assist you in taking care of your pet. In large-scale events such as hurricanes, having such plans ready might save your pet from running off, getting harmed, or being overlooked by relief workers.
Up to 100,000 to 250,000 pets were stranded or forced to be abandoned following Hurricane Katrina’s devastation in 2005, which led to around 70,000 and 150,000 pet deaths, mainly by starvation. During Hurricane Sandy in 2017, it was reported that hundreds of pets were spooked by the chaos enough to flee. Luckily, organizations such as the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals tend to react swiftly to save pets affected by such disasters, but the best way to ensure their safety is to have emergency measures prepared for them beforehand. Especially since not all disaster evacuation centers might accept pets. National Pet Preparedness Month is here to remind you that the safety of your pets lies primarily in your hands.
National Pet Preparedness Month timeline
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is established.
The American Humane organization initiates its renowned Red Star Animal Relief rescue program, aiming to save animals from disaster or conflict areas.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency holds the largest animal rescue operation in federal U.S. history, rescuing up to 15,000 pets following Hurricane Katrina.
The U.S. Government passes the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards (PETS) Act, which takes care of pet welfare following a disaster.
National Pet Preparedness Month FAQs
What should I include in my pet emergency bag?
Aside from the essentials of enough food and water, you should also include things such as their medical records, I.D. tags, medication, their food bowls, toys, waste bags, carrying bags, blankets, and first aid supplies. A picture of your pet is also recommended as it can help rescuers identify them.
What's the best way of ensuring I know where my pet is at all times?
Experts suggest fitting their collars with microchips to give a more secure reading of where they are. That way, you will not be able to lose track of them when an emergency strikes.
How can I alert emergency response teams of a pet in the house?
In the event of a serious emergency such as a house fire or a natural disaster, placing an alert sticker on your windows or your doors indicating pets inside can help alert them to an animal that needs saving. It helps ensure they get out safely.
National Pet Preparedness Month Activities
Let everyone know
National Pet Preparedness Month serves as a reminder for all pet owners to prepare emergency measures that ensure the safety of their pets. Spread the word through your social media pages to raise awareness of this important fact.
List all the things that are essential to your pet's health and well-being so that when disaster strikes, you can remember what to take with you for their sake. This is one small step towards being able to formulate a proper emergency plan.
Visit or donate to your local animal shelter
Contact and donate to your local animal shelter to identify possible channels of assistance. Your support and donations are essential to keep them running.
5 Ways To Keep Your Pet Safe During A Disaster
Know where your pet is at all times
A lost pet in an emergency spells trouble, so be aware of where they are at all times to keep them safe from potential hazards.
Regularly clean their quarters
To ensure their health and cleanliness, regularly clean their cages, litter boxes, or places where they usually sleep.
Remember to vaccinate beforehand
Before anything else, remember to vaccinate your pet to prevent them from contracting diseases that might be rampant during a disaster.
Check for potential hazards in your surroundings
Check your home or shelter for exposed wires, sharp objects such as broken glass, and spilled chemicals to protect you and your pets from further injury.
Ensure they keep to themselves
Do not let your pet interact with other animals, particularly strays, as it increases the possibility of disease transmission and other health issues.
Why We Love National Pet Preparedness Month
Pets are treasured members of the family
Every member of the household must be safely accounted for following a disaster or emergency. Because your pet is a valued member of your clan, you must also ensure their safety and help them get through the moment. National Pet Preparedness Month is merely a reminder that their well-being matters as much as anyone else’s.
It improves our disaster preparation skills
A pet needs specific needs and requirements to weather an emergency. By working out a clear, proper plan beforehand, such as listing the supplies needed or identifying their specific needs, you are also sharpening your ability to prepare for emergencies in the future, which will benefit everyone in your home.
It prevents past mistakes from happening again
National Pet Preparedness Month is here to ensure that the catastrophe that befell pets during Hurricane Katrina and other similar disasters is never repeated. The month-long campaign has helped raise awareness nationwide on the importance of rescuing pets from disaster zones and keeping their well-being in check.
National Pet Preparedness Month dates