Cedar Rapids: Remember pets in emergency planning - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Rapids: Remember pets in emergency planning

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The City of Cedar Rapids is reminding the public to become better prepared in case of an emergency or disaster -- and to remember to include their pets in that plan.

September is National Preparedness Month and the city's Animal Care and Control department is using the 30-day period to encourage everyone to take action in becoming better prepared and having a plan in place.

The plan should include yourself, your family and even your pets.

Here are a few suggestions the city recommends to help you prepare for those unexpected times:

-- Assemble an animal emergency supply kit. The kit should include at least three days of food in an airtight, waterproof container, as well as three days of fresh water – over and above what you have put aside for you and your family.

-- Keep an extra supply of medicines your pet takes on a regular basis – also stored in a waterproof container.

-- Prepare a Pet First Aid Kit. Most kits should include cotton bandage rolls, bandage tape and scissors, antibiotic ointment, flea and tick prevention, latex gloves, isopropyl alcohol and saline solution. Include a pet first aid reference book too.

-- Your pet should wear a collar with its rabies tag and identification at all times, but your kit should include a backup leash, collar and ID tag.

-- Make a copy of important documents, such as your pet's registration information, adoption papers, vaccination documents and medical records in a clean plastic bag or waterproof container and add them to your kit. Be sure that your documents include a photo of you and your pet together. If you become separated from your pet during an emergency, a picture will help you document ownership as well as allow others to assist you in identifying your pet.

-- Have a crate or other pet carrier set aside so that if you need to evacuate in an emergency, you can take your pet with you.

-- Include pet litter and litter box if appropriate, newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags and household chlorine bleach to provide for your pet's sanitation needs. You can use bleach as a disinfectant (dilute nine parts water to one part bleach), or in an emergency you can also use it to purify water. Use eight drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water, stir well and let it stand for 30 minutes before use. Do not use scented or color-safe bleaches or those with added cleaners.

-- Develop a pet care buddy system by planning with neighbors, friends or relatives to make sure that someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so. Talk with your pet care buddy about your evacuation plans and show them where you keep your pet's emergency supply kit. Also designate specific locations, one in your immediate neighborhood and another farther away, where you will meet in an emergency.

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