SPRINGFIELD – While every household should have a disaster preparedness kit stocked with survival necessities such as food, water, flashlights and batteries, homes with pets and livestock need to take an extra step when planning for disasters. Whether an emergency forces people to seek shelter within the home or evacuate, advanced planning can ensure pet and livestock safety and make the situation much less stressful.
Throughout August, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) will be working to increase awareness of pet and livestock preparedness as part of its 12 Month Preparedness Campaign.
“In many homes, pets are cherished members of the family,” said IEMA Interim Director Joe Klinger. “A family disaster preparedness kit should take into consideration the needs of every family member, such as kids, seniors and people with special needs. If pets are part of the family, you need to prepare for their needs during an emergency as well.”
Pet owners should assemble items that will help their pets stay safe and healthy during disasters. Suggested items for the pet disaster preparedness kit include:
• At least a three-day supply of food and water
• Extra supplies of pet medicines
• Copies of pet registration, vaccination and other important documents
• Photo of your pet in case you are separated during an emergency.
• Pet first-aid kit, including cotton bandage rolls, tape, antibiotic ointment, flea and tick prevention and isopropyl alcohol.
• Collar with ID tag, harness or leash.
• Crate or other pet carrier in case of evacuation.
• Pet litter and box, newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags and household chlorine bleach for pet’s sanitation needs.
• Toys, treats or other familiar items to help lessen your pet’s stress during the emergency.
It’s also important for horse and livestock owners to plan for disasters that could impact their animals. Develop a written plan of action for the types of disasters that could happen in your area (tornadoes, floods, chemical spills, etc.) and include animal confinement locations for each type of disaster, food and water sources that do not rely on electricity, locations to take animals if you can evacuate them and evacuation routes to those locations. Take photographs and document identifying information about each animal, such as brands, ear tags, etc.
If you must evacuate without your livestock during an emergency, leave them in an appropriate pre-selected area and leave enough hay, food and water for 72 hours. Do no rely on automatic watering systems as power may be lost.
For more information about pet and livestock preparedness, including links informational brochures, visit the Ready Illinois website at www.Ready.Illinois.gov or the Ready Illinois Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/ReadyIllinois.