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Preparing for disasters: Include your animals in your plan

By Gary Bogue
Thursday, September 2nd, 2010 at 6:07 am in Disaster plan for pets, Disasters.

Dog trapped on roof by flooding. (Noah’s Wish photo)
dog rescue1

September is National Preparedness Month. The American Veterinary Medical Association just sent me the following information to help remind us that when we prepare for disasters, we should also include our animals in our plans. Whether it’s earthquakes, hurricanes, grass fires, or whatever, we should have some sort of plan for dealing with it. Please read the following information. You may need to take advantage of it one of these days. /Gary

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), a participant in the 7th Annual National Preparedness Month sponsored by the Federal Emergency Agency’s Ready Campaign, encourages you to take action now to prepare for emergencies.

Stray dogs found in areas impacted by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Sept. 8, 2005. (FEMA/Jocelyn Augustino)
FEMA2, jocelyn augustino

Preparedness is everyone’s responsibility, and working together as a team ensures that individuals, families and communities are ready. Individuals are encouraged to make a family emergency plan, put together an emergency supply kit, be prepared to help your neighbor and work as a team to keep everyone safe.

And that includes family pets and other animals, including livestock, according to AVMA President Dr. Larry Kornegay.

“It is often too late to react properly to an emergency or disaster — either natural or manmade — after the fact, and things become even more hectic when pets or other animals are involved,” Dr. Kornegay says. “That’s why the AVMA believes it is critically important for everyone to have an emergency plan in place — and to practice that plan. Being prepared is some of the best insurance you can have when it comes to dealing with an emergency situation and minimizing the trauma.”

The AVMA has a wide variety of disaster preparedness resources available on its website at

For more information about the Ready Campaign and National Preparedness Month, visit

The AVMA and its more than 80,000 member veterinarians are engaged in a wide variety of activities dedicated to advancing the science and art of animal, human and public health. Visit the AVMA Web site at to learn more about veterinary medicine and animal care.

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