In our most recent BRAT Blog reader poll, the question was, "If you had to evacuate your home quickly with your pets, do you have a 'go kit' ready for them?" As of December 1st, 22% of people answered that they do have a 'go kit' and would be prepared to evacuate with their pets. 50% answered that they would be "sort of " ready but could pull things together quickly. 22% answered that they need to put this on their to-do list, and 5% didn't know what a 'go kit' was.
In terms of national statistics, we've actually done quite well, and we seem to be above the average American in terms of emergency preparedness for our pets. That's promising news, because despite the fact that the 2006 PETS Act made it mandatory for federal emergency management agencies to include pets in their emergency preparedness plans, when the plans were recently put to the test in Hurricane Sandy, we learned that there are still not a lot of options for evacuating with your pet. Read more.
The good news, however, is that you can do a lot to protect your furry family member in a disaster situation just by thinking ahead of time about where you would go (know where you could also bring your pets), what supplies you would need for your pet, and by making sure that you keep a list of these emergency preparedness items handy and a few extra months' supply of any human and pet medications you might need. I'm not talking about becoming a "prepper" or anything intense like that, but by just thinking ahead a little about the basic Disaster Preparedness for Pets guidelines set out by the ASPCA, you may save your pet's life in the event of a disaster situation.
If you haven't already, definitely check out the guidelines in the link above, and I'll leave our emergency preparedness poll (to the right of this post) open just a little longer so you can cast your vote about how prepared you are to protect your pets.