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Be prepared to get pets out of homes as well when evacuating

Most people consider their pets to be family. So it makes sense that home evacuation plans in an emergency include taking pets along as well.

The state has offered some suggestions for doing that as quickly as possible.

In honor of National Pet Preparedness Month, the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development encourage residents to create an emergency preparedness kit for their pets to ensure complete family readiness during an emergency or disaster.

“Two major weather-related disasters (in Michigan) within the last 10 months forced people from their homes for extended periods of time due to tornado and other storm-related damage,” said Capt. Kevin Sweeney, deputy state director of Emergency Management and commander of the MSP/EMHSD. “The recent events serve as real-life reminders to plan and prepare for what you will do with your pets during an unexpected incident.”

“When planning for unexpected situations, it is important to consider all members of our households, including our pets,” State Veterinarian Dr. Nora Wineland said. “Having a well-stocked emergency supply kit with their food, water, medications and even a favorite toy can help keep pets calm and safe during unforeseen circumstances. By thinking ahead, our furry, feathered, finned and scaled family members can be better protected.”

To create a pet preparedness kit, items to pre-pack and store in a safe location include ≤ Pet food, water and bowls;

≤ Pet carrier, leash and collar;

≤ Photo of your pet or ID and a photo of you with your pet;

≤ Immunization records, veterinary medical records and ≤ First aid kit, including items such as antibiotic ointment, bandage tape and scissors, cotton bandage rolls, latex gloves, tweezers, and flea and tick prevention;

≤ Contact list of pet-friendly hotels, veterinarians, and out-of-town friends and family;

≤ Toys and sanitation bags.

For more on disaster preparedness and pets, go to the American Veterinary Medical Association’s website, https://www.avma.org/resources-tools/animal-health-and-welfare/disaster-preparedness.

To learn more about being prepared before, during and after an emergency or disaster, follow the MSP/EMHSD on X at @MichEMHS or go online to http://www.michigan.gov/miready.

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