BALTIMORE, Maryland (May 9, 2018) – In recognition of National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day (NADPD), Baltimore Humane Society is joining Hill’s Pet Nutrition and its network of animal shelter partners in a campaign to educate pet parents on the ways they can stay safe and be better prepared to survive a disaster. This year’s National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day (NADPD), on May 12, 2018, will help raise awareness of the significant risk pets face during hurricanes, floods, and other unexpected natural calamities.
Hurricanes, floods, and tornados result in the destruction of homes, and the separation of families and their pets. Those events, in turn, created significant risks for pets left behind or lost due to the storms. Thousands of pets are displaced or missing each year and end up in local animal shelters because they are separated from their families.
“Planning ahead is the best way for people to ensure all members of their family, including pets, are ready to face an emergency,” said Joann Fuller, who oversees Hill’s Pet Nutrition Food, Shelter & Love® program. “Creating a pet emergency go-kit beforehand can relieve some of the stress families experience and help keep pets safe when disasters strike. Our ultimate goal is to reduce the number of cats and dogs that are hurt, displaced or abandoned when communities are impacted by disaster.”
Hill’s and its shelter partners encourage families to create a pet emergency go-kit to store alongside the rest of the family’s emergency supplies.
Together with Hill’s, Baltimore Humane Society suggests an emergency go-kit.
Emergency Go-Kit Contents
- Basic first aid supplies
- A 3-day supply of bottled water and the pet’s preferred food, held in a waterproof container
- Safety harness and leash
- Waste clean-up supplies
- Medications and a copy of the pet’s medical records
- List of veterinarians and local pet care organizations
- List of the pet’s feeding routine and any behavioral issues
- Comfort items, such as a blanket or favorite toy, to help keep the pet calm and comfortable
Tips to Help Ensure Your Pet’s Safety in an Emergency
- Ensure your pet’s identification by using a microchip or collar ID tag, and make sure that all contact information is up-to-date. You can update the microchip’s contact information at the manufacturer’s website by locating the code from the barcode sticker or the confirmation form provided by your veterinarian or animal shelter.
- Display a pet rescue decal on the front door or window to let first responders know there is a pet in the house. Include the local veterinarian’s contact information.
- Learn where your pets like to hide in the house when frightened. Finding a pet quickly will help to evacuate faster.
- Identify a location to take a pet in case of evacuation. Keep in mind that disaster shelters for people may not be open to pets. Scout hotels and motels with pet-friendly policies and ask relatives or friends if they could house you and your pet.
- Carry a picture of the pet in the event of separation.
- In case of evacuation, consider taking a pet carrier or crate for transport and safe-keeping.
When even the best laid plans are not enough and communities are hit hard by disaster, Hill’s Disaster Relief Network responds quickly to supply free pet food to families in need. Since 2013, the network has delivered over 280,000 pounds of free food to nearly 300 organizations across the country in response to more than 70 disasters, including floods, tornadoes, mudslides and the devastating hurricanes and wildfires last year.
Baltimore Humane Society’s Bmore Pet Food Bank is a year round community service for pet owners who find themselves in need.
Families looking to learn more about disaster preparedness and safety, as well as the Hill’s Disaster Relief Network, can visit HillsPet.com/PetPrepared. To request assistance during an emergency, shelters can contact DisasterRelief@hillspet.com.