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Disaster Planning

Pictures from Hurricane Katrina

 Fortunately, Minnesota is leading the nation in protecting companion animals in the face of danger.  Minnesota is the first state in the country to address animals in the event of a radiological catastrophe.  Not only are there showers to decontaminate humans, but also for their companion animals.  In addition, Minnesotans would not be asked to leave their pets behind.  The public would be notified of specific shelters to temporarily house pets.  Minnesota has even gone as far as to add a State Animal Coordinator to their emergency management team.  This individual is responsible for identifying animal issues as they evolve during a disaster.

Although Minnesota is taking important steps to protect our pets, YOU must also become prepared for a disaster now.  It CAN happen.  Here are some steps you can take to become prepared.

  • Have ID tags on your animals.  Better yet, have them micro-chipped too and keep the registration updated.

  • Get to know the physical characteristics of your pet, keeping in mind that the general features like fur might change.

  • Prepare a disaster kit which includes photos of your pets, including good close-ups and some in which you are shown with your animal, vaccination records and a directory of pet-friendly motels.

  • Have carriers for each of your animals, with litter pans for cats and other small pets.  Emergency shelters might require crates for large dogs.

  • Have available a supply of any medications for your animals' needs.

  • Keep available a supply of food and water

  • Make plans now for alternative shelter sites -- at friends and relatives.

  • And most of all, never evacuate your home without taking your animals with you.  Not even if you are told it will only be for a few hours.  A few hours can turn into days and even weeks.

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