As Hurricane Joaquin starts heading up the Eastern seaboard, Central Veterinary Associates (CVA) is cautioning pet owners to remember their pets in their emergency preparedness plans. For these, and all natural and man-made disasters, Americans are encouraged to create an emergency kit containing ten days’ worth of food, water, medications and other consumables for both themselves and their pets.
Currently classified by the National Hurricane Center as a Category 4 hurricane, Joaquin is said to be “extremely dangerous.” Its current maximum sustained winds are being calculated at over 130 miles per hour. Though forecasters are now predicting the storm will stay out in the Atlantic Ocean, they are still cautioning that it could make landfall on the Eastern seaboard. Many are also saying it has the potential to be a Sandy-caliber storm, leaving every state bracing for impact.
In addition to securing personal emergency kits, which save lives and reduce distress in the event of a natural disaster, pet owners should take extra precautions. Emergency planning should include locating a safe place to take your pet, such as to a relative, local veterinarian or animal shelter, as some emergency shelters do not allow pets. CVA also urges owners to have their pet microchipped before the storm makes landfall as it will help to locate the animal should they become separated from an owner and a collar falls off. In the event that a disaster occurs without warning, all pet owners should have an animal-friendly emergency kit that includes pet medication and medical records, sturdy leashes and harnesses and/or carriers to transport the animal, food, water, litter box, scoops and garbage bags, the veterinarian’s contact information, current photos of the animal in case they get lost and the pet’s bed or toys (if easily transportable).
“Leaving your pets out of your emergency plan and kit can put pets, pet owners and first responders in danger,” says Dr. John Charos, DVM, President/CEO, Central Veterinary Associates. “Preparation makes a difference, so it is important to have your pet microchipped along with an emergency plan, kit and designated area for your family and pet to stay safe should a disaster occur. CVA offers microchipping services and pet boarding that has a veterinarian make regular rounds to ensure your pet’s comfort and administer medications during their stay.”
CVA keeps its hospital in Valley Stream open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, even in the event of a natural disaster. For more information or to make an appointment, call 1 (888) 4CVA-PET (428-2738) or visit www.centralvets.com.