Fifteen years ago, with hurricane season well underway, winter storms right around the corner and the after-effects of the terrorist attacks, the Federal Emergency Management Agency declared September as National Preparedness Month. In recognition of this nationwide initiative, Central Veterinary Associates (CVA) is reminding pet owners to remember their pets in their emergency preparedness plans.
As last year’s theme of Don’t Wait. Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today was such a large success, FEMA is continuing the focus this year with added attention set on a continuing emphasis of preparedness for children, elderly and people with disabilities or other functional needs. The theme’s overall focus is on floods, wildfires, hurricanes and power outages. For these, and all natural and man-made disasters, Americans are encouraged to create an emergency kit containing enough food, water, medications and other consumables to last up to ten days. This kit can save lives and reduce distress in the event of a natural disaster.
Pet owners should take extra precautions in their emergency planning by 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 pets to be microchipped as it will help to locate a pet 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.