Be prepared for pets’ needs, too, when emergency strikes

The Michigan State Police are reminding residents that June is National Pet Preparedness Month and that means preparing a plan that will see to the needs of the family pet in case of an emergency.

“Being prepared for emergencies and disasters means having a plan for everyone in your family, including pets,” Inspector Chris Bush, assistant division commander of the MSP/Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division, said in an MSP press release distributed to media. “Pet Preparedness Month is the time of year to make sure you and your pets are ready when disaster strikes. This month, take a few moments to consider what you will do and where you will go with your pets during an incident.”

More than half of households in the U.S. include at least one pet, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. A great many households have multiple pets.

To create a pet preparedness kit, ensure the following items are readily available in a safe location:

— The pet’s regular food;

— Water;

— Leash and collar;

— Bowls;

— Photo of the pet, or ID and a photo of you with your pet;

— Medications the pet needs;

— Updated immunization and veterinary records;

— First Aid kit;

— Contact list of pet-friendly hotels, veterinarians, and out-of-town friends and family;

— Toys, rope and sanitation bags;

— Pet carrier.

“The human-animal bond Michiganders have with their pets is very strong. In fact, most pets are considered family members,” Dr. James Averill, state veterinarian for the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said in a press release. “So, when you are planning for how to protect your family in the event of an emergency, be sure to include the health and care of your family pets. Planning now will help protect your pet’s life and health for many more years of happiness.”

Why take chances with the health and welfare of the family pet when a little pre-planning could make all the difference?