(BPT) - News of natural disasters can stir our compassion, inspire us to find ways to help and remind us of the need to prepare our own homes and families to cope with emergencies, including severe weather, earthquakes and fire. Every family should have a disaster plan, so that if a disaster strikes, you’ll be ready to make the best use of aid from the shelters, volunteer organizations and government agencies that respond in a crisis.
In addition to taking care of the human members of your family, it’s important to have a plan in place for your pet. Approximately 70 million pet dogs and 74.1 million pet cats live in the United States and nearly 64 percent of owners consider their pets to be family members, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. Natural disasters can be especially stressful and dangerous for four-legged victims, which makes proper preparation even more important.
“When disaster strikes, taking care of human victims is a priority for aid resources,” says Dr. Dan Aja, director of U.S. professional and veterinary affairs for Hill’s Pet Nutrition, the makers of Hill’s Science Diet and Hill’s Ideal Balance. “Not all shelters can accept pets during an evacuation, and organizations that help house and feed human victims may not be able to provide assistance to pets.”
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