AVMA: Disaster Plans Must Include Pets

As emergency crews respond to the tsunami crisis in Japan and flooding in California, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) reminds pet owners via video to include pets and livestock in emergency plans.

"Taking care of pets can be one of the most rewarding jobs of everyday life, but many of us are completely unprepared to protect our animals in the event of a disaster like an earthquake, wildfire, tsunami, or flooding," explains Heather Case, DVM, MPH, Dipl. ACVPM, the AVMA's disaster response expert, in the video. "Recent events remind us just how desperate disaster situations can be. It's not difficult to put together an effective disaster plan and kit that will help you to protect your pets and livestock, so I encourage everyone to do it. It's too late once disaster hits."

In the short video Case details the simple plans and precautions that pet, horse, and livestock owners can undertake to protect their animals if disaster occurs. The video also details how to prepare a disaster kit with information and supplies that will help you to evacuate safely with your animals. The kit should include, among other things, special disaster identification tags with your cell phone number, a hotel where you'll be staying and/or the number of an out-of-town relative so that you can be found even during an evacuation.

For more information on disaster preparedness, please visit www.avma.org.

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