Thursday, June 9, 2011

PRESS RELEASE: Pet Owners Need to Prepare for “Above Normal” Hurricane Season

Keep in Mind Pets’ Emergency Needs

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted an “above-normal” hurricane season this year, and pet owners need to be prepared according to a national pet emergency preparedness company.

“In the midst of a fire, flood, tornado or hurricane, the likelihood that you and your pets will survive the emergency depends largely on emergency planning done today,” said Ines de Pablo, executive director of pet emergency management division at Wag’N Enterprises.

NOAA forecasted the Atlantic Basin’s severe weather activity will exceed the normal seasonal average with 11 named storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes – all the more reason to be prepared ahead of time, de Pablo said.

Although residents in storm-afflicted areas commonly keep personal records handy in case of emergencies –phone numbers, medical records and emergency supplies – it’s easy to forget similar preparation for your pets, de Pablo said.  Pet owners need to have immunization/health records and emergency vet contact information printed and ready should powered electronics be unavailable during and after a storm.  An extra supply of your pet’s food, water and medicine should also be readily available.

De Pablo said it’s also important to understand that post-disaster agencies may be slow to respond, depending on the severity of a weather-related event.

“You are your own first line of defense and your pet’s, too,” she said.  “Pet owners can take steps so that a first responder’s job is easier, should an emergency take place.”

Wag’N Enterprises offers eight important tips for emergency preparedness:

    Pets should wear a collar with its regular identification, county license, microchip and rabies tag at all times.
    Pet owners should carry a record of their pet’s medical history, a photo of their pet and emergency contact numbers (veterinarian, local animal control, etc.). A Wag’N Pet Passport is a good solution to put all information together in one place.
    If there’s a storm evacuation, it’s important to know whether or not your pet is allowed in the shelter. So, it’s important to plan in advance for shelter alternatives that will work for you and your pet.
    Create a “grab and go” bag for your pet that’s light yet stocked with everything your pet needs during an evacuation. Wag’N offers a preparedness checklist here (link deleted as broken) for pet owners to reference.
    Pet owners should keep a list of all their emergency contacts’ (friends, neighbors or family members) contact information, and pre-printed copies of lost pet posters readily available in their grab and go bag. The Wag’N Rover Respond’R (link broken) is another valuable tool pet owners should use to keep important information handy in their vehicles as well.
    Once a pet emergency management plan is made, practice the plan with your family, considering multiple hazard scenarios and giving yourself various time frames to evacuate.
    Prepare your human and pet first aid skills. Pet owners should take a Pet First Aid Class from a certified Pet Tech® instructor and also have a Pet First Aid Kit (link broken). Always keep paper and electronic copies of the following information, preferably in a resealable bag:
* Pet’s veterinarian information
* Emergency animal hospital
* National poison control (800.222.1222)
* Paper maps of your neighborhood, town, county as well as regional maps.
* Veterinary and immunization records
* Pictures of owner(s) with pet(s) for proof of ownership

About Wag’N Enterprises
Founded in 2007, Wag’N offers pet parents and first responders the necessary gear, supplies and training to effectively mitigate, prepare and respond to emergencies that impact pet health and safety. Executive Director of Pet Emergency Management Division, Ines de Pablo, holds a Master’s Degree in Risk, Crisis & Emergency Management from the prestigious George Washington University in Washington D.C. and has over a decade of extensive field training experience under her belt. Wag’N Pet Safety Gear is a branded and extensive collection of purposefully designed tools and services giving people and their pets’ peace of mind in case of an emergency.

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