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June is national pet preparedness month; are you Hokie Ready?

It is important to have an emergency plan in place for pets. Virginia Tech Emergency Management offers tips for doing so, including recommended preparedness kits. Photos by Sarah Myers and Meghan Marsh for Virginia Tech.

From: Virginia Tech Emergency Management 

June is national pet preparedness month. Take a moment to assess if you have a plan for your furry, scaly, and feathery friends if an emergency occurred. 

Emergency Kits

Gather a pet emergency kit and make sure to pack enough supplies for your pets. Included among the recommended items from the Federal Emergency Management Agency are:

  • Sealed food and water to last up to 72 hours

  • Food and water dishes

  • Pet bed and carrier

  • Toy

  • Collar and leash

  • Litter, pooper scoopers, and plastic bags

  • Veterinary records

  • A current photo of each of your pets; if you are separated, this could help with identification

Don’t forget to take a selfie with your animal companions! It could help to prove ownership in an emergency.

If your pet is microchipped, double check that their registration information is up to date.

Emergency Plans

Develop a pet emergency plan. Familiarize the animals in your life with any carriers, vehicles, or trailers that they may need to interact with during emergencies. If you have to evacuate, do not leave pets behind.

Be sure to have a backup plan if a disaster occurs and you are not able to get home immediately to care for your pets. Research nearby shelters that will house pets in case of an emergency. You can also contact friends, relatives, or neighbors to see if they could foster your pets until it is safe for you to return home.

Make sure all identification tags are current and securely fastened to your pet's collar.

Pro Tips

During the summer months, never leave your pets in the car. Temperatures can rise quickly even with the windows down.

Be sure to provide your animal companions with plenty of water and shade to help beat the heat. When taking your pets for a stroll, if the ground feels too hot to your touch, it’s probably too hot for them too.

Know when the various hunting seasons are in your area. During those times, be sure to have a bright “Hokie” orange bandana or other item for your pet to wear. This will help distinguish your pet from a deer or other animal that is targeted during the season. 

During the winter months, bring your animal friends inside and provide them with shelter to help them stay warm. Wiping paws is a great practice not only for your home’s floors, but also to prevent any ice-melting chemical consumption by your pets.

For more information on emergency preparedness for your pets, refer to Get a Pet Kit or contact Virginia Tech Emergency Management at oem@vt.edu and 540-231-4873.

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