Consider pets when preparing for a natural disaster

Always keep an emergency kit for your pet that includes food, necessary medications, vet records and an identification tag.
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(Welcome to the weekly pet column of Pet Connection Programs Inc. of Marilla, N.Y. A new article is posted each week, so be sure to check back on a regular basis!)

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) recommends that pet owners prepare now for the potential for future natural disasters and make sure they have a safe place to take their furry friends in case of emergency.

“It’s a tragedy we’ve seen too many times: pets stuck in shelters, or worse, because their owners had no place to take them, or homeowners who feel trapped in a dangerous home because they don’t know where to take their pets,” said Eric Cioppa, NAIC president and superintendent of the Maine Bureau of Insurance. “We want folks to remember that there are places you can take your pet, and that it’s important to plan ahead and be ready for the worst.”

During recent floods in the Midwest, Reuters reported that hundreds of pets were lost or imperiled by floodwaters. After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, an estimated 15,000 animals had to be rescued, according to CNN.

With hurricane season officially underway June 1, the NAIC offers some essential advice:

• Keep an emergency kit for your pet. Include food, necessary medications, vet records and an identification tag.

• Have a carry-crate ready to go. Make sure no matter where you go, Fido has convenient transport and/or a safe retreat.

• Know where to evacuate. Many shelters won’t accept pets. Keep a list of pet-friendly hotels or facilities that provide pet boarding, and make sure you can meet any requirements (like providing vet records).

• Have bottled water on hand. Flood waters aren’t safe to drink, even for animals. Store a gallon of fresh water for each pet.

• Keep your flood insurance policy in a safe place. A flood insurance policy can ensure your pets have a safe place to come home to. Flood insurance policies are available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and on the private market.
— PRNewswire

(For more information on pets and animal adoption, please visit www.petconnectionprogramsinc.com. Or, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/PetConnectionProgramsinc. Located in Marilla, N.Y., Pet Connection Programs Inc. is a nonprofit maternity and special care shelter founded in 1984.)

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