Here at Southeast Utah Health Department, we strive to keep our communities prepared in every way possible. June is an active month for the Preparedness program. As spring is setting in and summer is on the horizon it is important to remember a few key items that will help keep you, your families, and your pets prepared and ready for the months ahead.
To kick off June, we start with Pet Preparedness Month. Taking just a few easy steps to prepare for your pets can save you time and stress during an emergency. These steps include preparing a family emergency plan that includes your pets, putting together an emergency kit, and having the tools to stay informed. Remember, preparing these things now will help make stressful times become manageable.
When building your plan there are a few key things to think about. These include but are not limited to the following suggestions: Have an evacuation plan so you know how you are going to evacuate and transport your pets. Develop a buddy system in case you are out of town or you are unable to get to them you know your pets will be taken care of. Get your pets microchipped and maintain your emergency contact information in case you and your pets are separated. We also recommend contacting your local emergency management office, animal shelter, or animal control office with any questions regarding plan development.
Build a kit to care for your pets in an emergency. Just like any other preparedness kit, make sure that it is reviewed regularly. We recommend that these kits include the basics like food, medicine, first aid items, collars, tags, and familiar items like toys and blankets. It is also important to have travel necessities such as kennels and carry bags easily accessible. If you have large animals we recommend that you evacuate early, have food and veterinary supplies readily available, and make sure that you have handling equipment on hand. If you are unable to evacuate these pets you may need to make the decision to move them to a barn or other shelter or turned loose. If you have to turn your pets loose make sure they have some sort of identification on them.
One of the best ways to stay prepared is to stay informed. Make sure that you are enrolled in mobile device emergency alerts here https://www.ready.gov/alerts and read the alerts as they are sent. Listen to your local officials and the notifications they are sending out. You can also download the FEMA App at https://www.fema.gov/mobile-app this will provide alerts from the national weather service for up to 5 locations in the United States. It is also recommended that that you bring your pets inside at the first sign of inclement weather or storm disaster.