Hurricane planning? Remember the pets

As Hurricane Irene approaches, it's important to keep pets in mind while planning for the storm -- or any other potential disasters. Maryland Emergency Management Agency is urging people to plan ahead for this weekend's potentially extreme weather event by taking the time to consider dogs, cats and other animals.

The Baltimore region is under a tropical storm warning for Irene. And that's pretty serious.

UPDATE: If Annapolis-area pet owners have to leave home because of Hurricane Irene, head for Annapolis High School, 2700 Riva Road, with your animals. It’s a pet-friendly shelter.
Annapolis is under a state of emergency now, and Mayor Joshua Cohen is urging residents in low-lying areas – and the city has a lot of those – to evacuate by Saturday afternoon. The high school will open as a pet-friendly shelter at 4 p.m. Saturday.

The Maryland Department of Agriculture suggests the following for pet-owners:

--Prepare an animal evacuation kit (visit the American Veterinary Medical Association for details).

--Be sure your pet is up to date on all vaccinations.

--When evacuating, take copies of your pet’s vaccination history and medical records.

--Be sure your pet wears a collar with identification that includes a current phone number.

--Have a list of places where you can evacuate with your pet (relatives, pet friendly motels, pet shelters, etc.).

--Have at least a three-day supply of food, water, and all medication your pet takes, and a few of your pet’s favorite toys.

--Have a photo of your pet (in case it should become lost) in addition to leashes, collars, and muzzles.

“Your animals depend on you to be prepared in the event of a disaster situation,” Maryland State Veterinarian Dr. Guy Hohenhaus said in a statement.  “Take the extra time now to create a comprehensive disaster plan to ensure the safety and well-being of you, your family and your pets and livestock.”

Also, people can download a disaster preparedness booklet published by the American Veterinary Medical Association. Find it here.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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