National Preparednesss Month: Prepare Pet Owners

Monday September 20th, 2010
 

September is National Preparedness Month (NPM), a time to encourage Americans to take simple steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses, and communities. The theme for NPM 2010 is "Plan Now. Work Together. Be Ready.” Take advantage of this opportunity to make sure your department, Fire Corps team, and community are prepared for all types of emergency situations.

This week’s focus is about preparing pet owners. Fire Corps teams can help protect our furry friends from disasters and other emergencies by educating pet owners about how to include their pets in their preparedness efforts. Ready.gov has provided the following ideas and tips to ready pet owners for any emergency.

Prepare Pet Owners

Work with Your Local Pet Store, Veterinary Practice, and Shelter to Distribute Emergency Preparedness Information to Pet Owners

The Ready Campaign provides pet preparedness materials that can be ordered or downloaded. These two-page handouts are an easy and inexpensive way to supplement the Ready brochures for occasions with a large attendance or high traffic. They can also be easily sent to employees, colleagues, members, or stakeholders via email. Visit http://ready.gov/america/publications/allpubs.html.

Coordinate with local rescue organizations to provide the two-pager to all new pet owners who rescue or adopt a pet.

Host a Pet Preparedness Day

Host a preparedness event in conjunction with local pet events or pet walks, and distribute the Ready Campaign’s brochure: “Preparing Your Pets for Emergencies Makes Sense.” This event could bring together animal lovers in the community and help them develop emergency plans that take into consideration the special needs of their animals and plan what to do in case of an evacuation. The Humane Society of the United States, American Kennel Club, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), and the American Veterinary Medical Association have worked with the Ready Campaign, so their local organizations or members may be interested in participating.

Use the Pet Preparedness Toolkit

FEMA’s Ready Campaign and Citizen Corps, The American Red Cross, and the Humane Society of the United States have come together to develop an emergency preparedness toolkit that can assist you in your planning efforts as you work toward keeping your community - and specifically, the pets and people who care for them - safe from disasters. This toolkit provides you with the resources on how to promote preparedness in your communities and engage other organizations in your efforts, as well as resources to educate the community about how to assemble a pet Emergency Supply Kit and make a Family Emergency Plan. In addition, there is a tools section that provides sample preparedness brochures, PowerPoint templates, and press materials you can use to develop and distribute your internal and external preparedness messaging. Visit http://www.ready.gov/america/toolkit_pets/index.html.

Showcase Instructional Videos

Instructional videos for pet owners are available on the Ready web site at http://ready.gov/america/about/instructional_index.html. You could play them in your lobbies, waiting rooms, break rooms, and at events.

National Preparedness Month is sponsored by the Ready Campaign in partnership with Citizen Corps and the Ad Council. The 2010 event asks Americans to work together to concentrate actions towards emergency preparedness.

Find preparedness resources and tips to distribute in your community on the Ready web site at www.ready.gov (English) and www.listo.gov (Spanish), and on the Fire Corps web site at www.firecorps.org/prevention.

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