SPRINGFIELD – Developing a family disaster plan and assembling an emergency supply kit are two important steps for keeping your family safe when disasters occur. And if your family includes a pet or you own livestock, your emergency planning should include procedures and supplies to ensure their well-being during disasters.
Throughout July, 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.
“More than half of all households include at least one pet,” said IEMA Director Jonathon Monken. “When disaster strikes, you want to keep them safe. That’s why it’s important to take into consideration the needs of every family member, including your pets, when developing your emergency plan and kit.”
Monken said 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 and 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 not rely on automatic watering systems as power may be lost.
For more information about pet and livestock preparedness, visit the Ready Illinois website at www.Ready.Illinois.gov.