Disaster comes in many forms and often occurs without warning. We at the American Red Cross encourage individuals to become Red Cross Ready. What does this mean you might ask? Well it includes getting a kit, making a plan, and being informed. These are steps to take to prepare yourself when the unthinkable strikes.
When preparing for disaster, it is important to include your loved ones in the planning. And lets not forget about the ones we love the most, the cute, cuddly, four legged creatures that you can always count on for friendship and loyalty. During our greatest moments of adversity and chaos that accompany disaster, man's best friend should not be forgotten. In the case of my ex-wife, man's best friend would have been firmly grasped in my arms as I run out of the burning house, while she is left to gather the important documents such as my coupons to Red Robin. Our pets bring so much joy and happiness into our lives; it is our duty as pet owners to ensure that they are equally prepared for disaster.
The American Red Cross makes the following recommendations regarding preparing your pet for disaster:
- Include Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, and bowl) in your kit.
- Keep a phone list of pet-friendly hotel/motels and animal shelters that are along your evacuation routes.
- Include a 7 day supply of medications for your pets.
- Get trained in Pet First Aid and CPR.
Pet First Aid and CPR is offered by the American Red Cross and is a valuable resource for pet owners. Just like with people, accidents and emergencies can happen to animals- so being prepared could make a lifesaving difference. For more information on Pet First Aid and CPR or to register for a course, contact your local American Red Cross at (559) 455-1000 or visit us online at www.arccentralvalley.org. Together, we can show our pets the same love and compassion that they show us day in and day out.
-Aaron Lloyd, is an Intern in Health & Safety Services. He joins us from California State University, Fresno and is a student in the Master's of Public Health.