Emergency Preparedness: No pet left behind

Posted at 10:17 AM, Jun 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-23 10:33:53-04

Imagine this: you are peacefully sitting in your home and you suddenly hear a loud bang. You jump, not knowing where it came from. 

Your dog starts barking and your cat hides under a table. You suddenly smell smoke and you follow the source to your living room in the back of your home. 


You run to the back yard and see your next door neighbor's children standing there with guilt written all over their faces. Turns out the neighbors improperly shot a firework and now your house is in flames. 

What do you do? You grab the hose and try to put out the fire. Then, you remember, "My pets!"

You run inside, grab them and your emergency preparedness kit. You quickly run back out while waiting for the fire department. 

You open your emergency preparedness which has food, water, clothes and medical supplies. You look at your pets and you have nothing for them. 

June is "Pet Preparedness Month" and the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division wants to continue encouraging people to create emergency preparedness kits for their pets. 

Pets are often seen as a part of the family, so you want to make sure you can take care them in a disaster. 

“Pet Preparedness Month is the time of year to make sure you and your pets are ready for emergencies and disasters,” said Capt. Chris A. Kelenske, Deputy State Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and commander of the MSP/EMHSD.

“Often times, pets are overlooked when creating an emergency plan. This month, take a few moments to consider what you will do and where you will go with your pets during an incident.”

According to the Michigan State Police, a few good things to include in a pet preparedness kit are:

  • Food (your pet's regular food)
  • Water
  • Leash and collar
  • Bowls
  • Photo of your pet or ID and a photo of you with your pet
  • Medications your pet needs
  • Immunization and vet records (keep both updated)
  • First Aid Kit
  • Contact list of pet-friendly hotels, veterinarians, and out-of-town friends and family
  • Toys, rope, and sanitation bags
  • Pet carrier

Dr. James Averill, State Veterinarian for the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development says, "Planning now will help protect your pet’s life and health for many more years of happiness."