Get your FREE pet emergency preparedness Go-Bag at these upcoming events:

June 15th, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Manayunk “Stroll the Street” Pet Night. Main Street, Manayunk
June 17th, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. ACCT Philly Pet Food Pantry Day. ACCT Philly, 111 W Hunting Park Ave.
June 25th, 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. ACCT Philly, Red Paw and Citizens for a No-Kill Philadelphia. Community Pet Pantry & Help Desk Day. Wissinoming Park, Frankford Ave and Comly St.

Shared from the Office of Emergency Management, our partner in pet emergency preparedness.

June is Pet Preparedness Month. Putting Pets in Emergency Plans

Pets are parts of the American family and play more of a role in everyday life (even contributing to the economy). A recent Harris Poll found that three in five people surveyed had at least one pet in their household, whether they be four-legged and furry, feathered, have scales or a shell, or swim. Moreover, the poll revealed 95% of those with pets consider them to be part of the family.

And what do you do for family? You buy them things and cook for them. Almost half surveyed said they’ve occasionally or frequently bought birthday presents for their pets. 31% make home-cooked meals for them.

Given the important role pets play in our lives, their safety is a concern. This is why June is national Pet Preparedness Month, an awareness campaign to make sure your pets are included in your emergency plans.

OEM kicked of Pet Preparedness Month with a big event June 1st with our public safety partners from the Philadelphia Fire Department, Philadelphia Police Department, SEPTA, Red Paw Emergency Relief Team, Philadelphia Animal Care & Control Team (ACCT Philly), and the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS).

At the kick-off event, Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management Acting-Director Dan Bradley spoke to the importance of having pets in your plans, saying, “A theme in all emergency planning is personal preparedness, which starts at the home. So it’s fitting that we’re here talking about what is truly important to people, their family and their pets.” Bradley added, “Leaving pets out of your plans can put you, your pet, and first-responders in danger.”

Here are simple steps you can take on the road to becoming Pet Prepared:

Make a Pet Emergency Plan
ID your pet. Make sure your pet’s tags are up-to-date and securely fastened to your pet’s collar. Consider micro-chipping your pets. Have a current photo of your pet for identification purposes. Make a pet emergency kit.

Be Ready
Red Paw founder Jen Leary shared her insight with us from her time as Philadelphia firefighter (and as a current animal advocate) to talk about preparing your pets for emergencies. Leary says to included your pets in your fire escape plan, especially when you practice your plan. Introduce your pets to your neighbors. If there is an emergency, neighbors will let first-responders know there are animals in the house. Also let your neighbors know your pets hiding places.

Philadelphia Fire Department Deputy Commissioner Gary Loesch wants you to know that you should put your pets in your fire escape plans. However, if you should have an emergency in your home and you escape, do not go in for your pets. Let Philadelphia firefighters or Philadelphia police officers know your animals are inside and where their hiding spots are.

Be Informed
If you are evacuated from your residence, do you have home or renter’s insurance? Will the temporary residence or shelter you’re staying at accept pets? In Philadelphia, your Animals are welcome at all City evacuation shelters, reception centers, and on SEPTA evacuation transport vehicles.

Is there a neighbor, friend or family member your pet can stay with? Your pets should have their own Go-Bags, which include; a leash, water bowl, copies of their veterinary records, medication, photos of you and your pets, written information about your pets’ behavior along with the name and number of your vet, and bags to clean-up after them.

Most boarding kennels, veterinarians and animal shelters will need your pet’s medical records to make sure all vaccinations are current.