Friday, 26 June 2009 10:43“The biggest potential hurricane disaster on the Atlantic Coast is in the New York City, northern New Jersey, western Long Island metropolitan area,” writes Bryan Norcross in his book the Hurricane Almanac where he says it is the very lack of preparedness in these areas that increases their vulnerability to disaster.
It is time to prepare, and to help Nassau County residents get ready for the unexpected Pet Safe Coalition would like to have families with pets send us their family’s disaster plans and the family may win a prize. Once a month the family with the best thought-out plan and resources will win a prize in the Pet Safe Coalition’s “Pet Safe Families” competition. Families with pets are invited to write or call the Pet Safe Coalition to share their plans to keep their pets safe in emergencies. This can include plans to evacuate from the home or plans to have a trusted person take care of the animals in the family’s absence.
A family’s plan should be specific by designating a family member to be in charge of seeing to it that the family’s emergency plan is followed as much as possible and selecting and being familiar with an evacuation route and location away from home and having an adequate, safe, secure and readily available container for each pet to be evacuated in, as well as evacuation “kits” for each family pet and go kits for each human member of the family. In addition each plan should demonstrate that the other family members are familiar with the plan and know how to carry it out in an actual emergency.
“Pet Safe Families” promotes good citizenship. Involving young people in preparing their families to handle emergencies can be a good way to teach young people responsibility within the family, respect for animals and other family members, critical thinking such as how to assess needs of family members in an unusual time such as an emergency, how to meet the needs with what’s available at home or easily accessible (such as at the supermarket) and how making a plan can help the whole family come through the unusual time in better shape than if they had no plan at all.
Pet Safe says “Have a pet? Have a plan!”
President, Pet Safe Coalition, Inc.
Nassau County’s Official
Animal Disaster Response Team