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In a disaster, remember your pets

Post Date:05/03/2019 9:26 AM

Contact Keri Zaleski
(815)-334-4456; cell (815)-236-3238

WOODSTOCK IL – It’s widely known that when disaster strikes, it’s too late to prepare. This holds true whether you’re gathering supplies for yourself or for your pet. May 11th is National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day and the McHenry County Department of Health (MCDH) reminds residents of the importance of remembering your pets when gathering emergency supplies and preparing for disasters.

In a disaster, your pet depends on you for safety. Anne McCann, National Emergency Programs Coordinator at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, remembers that during Superstorm Sandy in 2012 she was shocked to see how quickly people ran out of pet food. Despite being given about a week's worth of notice about the storm, many pet owners were unprepared. “Almost immediately after the disaster, people needed pet food,” she says, “but all of the stores were closed.”

Make sure you include survival supplies for your pets when putting together a disaster kit. Remember to include food, medicine, a first aid kit, sanitation supplies (litter box), documents (rabies vaccine status, a picture of you with your pet), travel supplies (animal carrier, leash) and comfort items.

Pets can become trapped or harmed if left home alone during an emergency. If your home isn’t safe for you, then it isn’t safe for your pet. If you get separated from your pet, microchipping is the best way of making sure you’re reunited. McHenry County Department of Health Animal Control Division representatives will be microchipping pets on Saturday, May 18, during the Harvard Area Community Festival from 10 a.m-3 p.m.

More resources for caring for your pet in a disaster are listed in the emergency preparedness section of the website or visiting


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