Seattle, WA -- With Washington State still recovering from the February 28 Nisqually Earthquake, and the entire Pacific Northwest nervously awaiting wildfire season, disaster preparedness is still a "hot topic" ?and needs to be. The Emergency Animal Rescue Service (EARS) is hosting its third annual nation-wide Animal Disaster Preparedness Day Saturday, May 19 to encourage families to include pets and any other animals being cared for in family disaster preparedness plans. This year's theme is: "Don't Leave Home Without Them," and according to FEMA Acting Regional Director Tammy Doherty, it highlights important considerations.
"The time to contact local animal shelters for information on caring for pets in an emergency is before disaster strikes," said Doherty. "If you must evacuate your home, it's always best to take your pets with you, but plan ahead. Public emergency shelters often exclude pets for space and health reasons."
EARS' Animal Disaster Preparedness Day observances include distribution of free disaster preparedness information kits to animal caregivers, local shelters and humane societies. Kits include "shopping lists" for animal disaster supplies, disaster plan posters, brochures and handouts, and a starter set of identification collars. For a free kit for your family (or to share with your local animal shelter) e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or write: UAN, P.O. Box 188890, Sacramento, CA 95818.