Florida Residents Encouraged To Include Pets In Family Disaster Plans | Community Spirit

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Florida Residents Encouraged To Include Pets In Family Disaster Plans
Florida Residents Encouraged To Include Pets In Family Disaster Plans

As a part of Florida Hurricane Preparedness Week, state emergency management officials are encouraging every pet owner in Florida to include their animals in their family disaster preparedness plan before the start of the 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season. By planning for the needs of your pets, it will greatly increase the chances of their survival during disasters.

 “During a disaster, you may not have enough time to adequately plan and prepare for your pets’ needs,” said Bryan W. Koon, Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management. “I encourage all residents to take the opportunity during this Week to consider what you would do with your pets if a tropical system threatened your area and to plan for their needs.”  If local officials order an evacuation for your area, affected residents should never leave their pets behind. As many emergency shelters do not accept pets, residents should identify a safe place to accommodate their pets, such as a kennel or the home of a family member or friend outside of the anticipated impact area, prior to the storm’s potential landfall. Families with pets should also locate several pet-friendly hotels or motels along their evacuation routes. Certified service animals for persons with disabilities are exempt from any restrictions at emergency shelters and lodging facilities. Residents should also consider the needs of their pets as they build their disaster supply kits. Pet owners should store at least three days’ worth of food, bottled water, and prescription medicines for their animals. Other important items such as leashes, pet bowls, and litter boxes should also be included. Residents should also bring all veterinary records with them if they evacuate, as this important information can easily be lost or destroyed during a disaster.  The 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1 through November 30.  For more information on the Florida Division of Emergency Management and to GET A PLAN!, please visit: www.FloridaDisaster.org or call the Puiblic Information Office at (850) 413-9969.  Follow us on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/flsert and on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/FloridaSERT.

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