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Emergency Preparedness and Response

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Emergency situations arise every day so prepare for emergency and know how to respond to emergencies.Is your region prone to hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, blizzards, floods, heat waves, drought or other natural disasters? Is your area a likely target of a terrorist attack?  Emergency preparedness and response is different for different situations.  Be informed on some of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as assembling an emergency supply kit and making an emergency plan. In subcategories of this tab you will find a separate list of items for the survival kit.  You will notice a number of duplications.  So a single kit in your home can be made that is appropriate for more than one type of emergency.

Being prepared is especially important step for people with special needs, including limited mobility that often comes with advanced age.  Your support network can include family, friends, neighbors, doctors, organizations or places where you worship.  Make a list of your special needs in case of an emergency, note the medicines you take along with any physical limitations you may have. Make this list available to y our network.  Your network should include both local and out-of-area contacts.  Regardless of your age or physical limitations, you still need to prepare yourself and your home for a potential emergency situation.  More detailed information on emergency preparedness for people with disabilities can be found at Red Cross.  Find details for specific emergency situations in subcategories of this tab.

Pets also need special planning.  Evacuation shelters do not allow pets, you may be unable to take them with you, and if you must leave your home and your pets do come along, you need to have a survival kit for them as well.

Pet Housing

  • While state and local regulations do not allow pets in disaster shelters, they do make exception for service animals.  Be sure you have proof of their status as a service animal if you bring them to an evacuation shelter.
  • Contact hotels and motels outside your local area to see if they allow pets in the event of an emergency. Some establishments have pet friendly policies, usually dependent upon size.
  • Ask friends or relatives if they would be willing to shelter your animal(s) if there is an emergency.
  • Make a list of boarders and veterinarians who can shelter animals in an emergency; include 24-hour phone numbers.
  • Ask local animal shelters if they provide emergency shelter or foster care for pets during a disaster.

Pet Emergency Preparedness Kit                 

  • Place supplies in sturdy containers that can be easily accessed and carried; i.e. a duffle bag or covered plastic containers.
  • Medications and medical records (stored in a waterproof container such as a Ziploc type bag)
  • Sturdy leashes, harnesses, and/or carriers to transport pets safely
  • Current photos of your pets for identification purposes, if needed later
  • Food, drinkable water, bowls, cat litter/pan, and manual can opener.  You can buy collapsible bowls that are easily stored.  Do not assume food and water will be provided elsewhere.
  • Information on feeding schedules, medical conditions, behavior problems, and the name and number of your veterinarian.
  • Pet bed or toys ONLY if easily transportable.

It is smart to use a rescue sticker on a window beside a main entrance door or on a glass entrance door to let people know that pets are inside your home. Specify the types and number of pets inside.  If there is room on the sticker, add your vet’s name and phone number.  This sticker is useful for fire and rescue personnel at any time.  If you leave and take pets along, clearly write evacuated on the sticker if time allows.  It can save rescue personnel valuable time.