In the midst of National Preparedness Month, the results of a recent Pet360, Inc. survey of more than 5,000 pet owners shows that we are not prepared for an emergency. The goal of the survey was to identify just how many pet owners are adequately prepared to face a disaster or emergency evacuation with their pets.
Key findings of the survey include:
- The Danger Is Real
o 13% have been through a disaster or emergency evacuation with their pets.
o Of those who have been through either scenario, 12% were separated from their pets.
- Housing Is a Concern
o When asked what they would do if pets were not allowed in a disaster relief shelter,75% said they would look for alternate housing. Finding a place to stay in the aftermath of a disaster; however, can be difficult.
- Pet Owners Are Not Prepared
o 46% do not have an emergency plan in place for their pets.
o Of those who do have a plan, only 40% practice it with their pets.
o Less than 35% have an emergency kit for their pets.
o 63% do not have Pet Alert stickers in their windows.
In support of National Preparedness Month, Pet360 and Red Paw Emergency Relief Teamhave pulled together the Four P’s of Pet Preparedness:
- Plan ahead – Many local and state health and safety regulations do not allow pets to accompany their owners to disaster shelters (Philadelphia DOES allow pets in disaster shelters). Determine the best evacuation plan, including where to go and how to get your pets there safely. Follow this emergency planning checklist, and you’ll be well-prepared.
- Practice with your pets – The first step of any pet evacuation plan is to quickly and safely remove your pet from harm’s way. Your pet may be inclined to run and hide when disaster strikes, so be sure torehearse a “come” command with your dog and identify a reliable way to find your cat, maybe by opening a can of food. Also practice putting your cat in a carrier and getting your dog in and out of the car. The more you practice, the more comfortable they’ll be.
- Pack an emergency kit – Assembling an emergency go-kit well in advance of a disaster will ensure nothing gets left behind. Your pet emergency kit should include first aid supplies, proof of ownership, vaccination history, and at least one of your pet’s favorite toys or blankets. Not sure what else to pack? Check out Pet360’s top 10 pet emergency kit items.
- Protect your pets when they’re home alone – Disasters can strike when you’re not home. Display a Pet Alert sticker on your front door or window to let first responders know how many pets are inside. Remember to include your veterinarian’s contact information.
Expert Commentary from Jen Leary, Founder of Red Paw Emergency Relief Team:
“Sadly, we see just how devastating the effects of fires and other disasters can be to a family, and it’s even more devastating when pets are involved. A family loses everything and is then faced with having to surrender or abandon their pet because they did not have an emergency plan in place