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by Lea-Ann Germinder, GoodNewsforPets.com

With Goodnewsforpets coverage of National Preparedness Month in full swing, alarming news comes from recently published survey results courtesy of Pet360, Inc. More than 5,000 pet owners participated in the survey, which was an effort to identify just how many pet owners are adequately prepared to deal with a sudden disaster or emergency, and the results reveal majority of pet parents are NOT prepared for an emergency.

Goodnewsforpets has compiled multiple tips and tools to help you and your pets stay safe AND together during a disaster or emergency. For everyday preparedness check out our featured pet first aid kits, available for either a cat or dog.

Key findings of the survey include:

  • The Danger is Real – 13% responded they had experienced a natural disaster or emergency evacuation with their pets. Even more concerning is that of 13% that had lived through the experience 12% had been separated from their pets
  • Housing Is a Concern – 75% of those surveyed said they would look for alternative disaster relief shelter if their pets were not allowed. However, finding a place for you and your pets should not be an afterthought, be active in your preparedness planning and know what options will be available should an emergency occur.
  • Pet Owners Are Not Prepared – 46% of respondents admitted that they do no have any emergency plan in place, especially for their pets. Those pet owners that do have a plan, less than 35% have a pet emergency kit, and only 37% have a Pet Alert sticker in their windows.

To assist pet owners with emergency planning, Pet360 and Red Paw Emergency Relief Team recommend the Four P’s of Pet Preparedness:

  1. Plan ahead – Many local and state health and safety regulations do not allow pets to accompany their owners to disaster shelters. Determine the best evacuation plan now, including where to go and how to get your pets there safely. Follow this emergency planning checklist, and you’ll be well-prepared.
  2. Practice with your pets – When evacuation is required it’s important to have a pet evacuation plan, what is more important is to include your pet in the planning. Practice your plan with your pet, so you help mitigate any stress that might occur during a real evacuation. Have transportation crates and carriers on hand, and make sure your pet is acclimated to them. For more information, go here.
  3. Pack an emergency kit – The key to preparedness to have the necessary items on hand, assembling an emergency go-kit well in advance of a disaster will ensure nothing gets left behind. Want to make sure your kit is complete? Check out tips for building your own kit and don’t forget to have an everyday pet first aid kit like the one offered by Denise Fleck.
  4. Protect your pets when they’re home alone – Disasters can strike when you’re not home. Notify neighbors that you have pets in your home and 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.