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For Immediate Release: 4/5/2014
Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, Montgomery County Animal Response Team and MCPD Animal Services Division Support FEMA’s 2014 Petpared Initiative / Encourage Participation in Petpared Twitter Challenge

The Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (OEMHS), Montgomery County Animal Response Team (CART) and the MCPD Animal Services Division support the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) “2014 Petpared Initiative” to encourage pet owners to make emergency preparedness plans for their pets.

To help motivate pet-owners to take steps to prepare for their pets in the event of an emergency; FEMA is sponsoring a “2014 #Petpared Twitter Challenge” through the month of April. To participate in the twitter challenge, pet owners are encouraged to take a picture of themselves with their pet doing one of the actions from the list below. Then tweet the picture of their action by April 30, 2014, using the hashtag #Petpared.

 Complete any of the following pet preparedness actions as the subject of your photo:

  • Plan for what you would do in an evacuation. Where would you go? Where would your pet go? Practice taking your pet in the car with you and learn a few different routes.
  • Determine where you would shelter-in-place for the hazards that most impact our area. Practice with your pet to help keep your pet calm when an emergency requires sheltering in place.
  • Hang a tag on your front and back doors with your pet’s information so emergency workers will know who is inside right away during an emergency.
  • Create a buddy-system with a relative or friend who lives nearby. Talk about how you can help each other’s pets if one of you is away from home during an emergency.
  • Make a Pet Emergency Kit.
  • ID your Pet. Make sure that your cat or dog has a current pet license and is wearing a collar and identification that is up-to-date and visible at all times. You’ll increase your chances of being reunited with a lost pet by having him or her micro-chipped. If your pet is adopted from a shelter or rescue organization, make sure the registration has been transferred to you and is not still with the adoption group. Put your cell phone number on your pet’s tag. It may also be a good idea to include the phone number of a friend or relative outside of your immediate area—in case you have had to evacuate.

Celebrity judges will re-tweet some of the successful actions on National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day May 5, 2014. Successfully prepared pets could be featured as a regional “spokespet” during May of 2014.

Families with pets are encouraged to make an emergency kit with essential items to help shelter in place or to take with them if there is a need to evacuate during an emergency. Items that all pet owners are urged to proactively gather and keep in a pet emergency supply kit include:

·        Three-or-more-day supply of food in an airtight, waterproof container and drinking water.

·       Bowls for food and water.

·        Current photos of you with your pet along with a physical description of your pet, including details on markings.

·        Medications, vaccination records (especially rabies records) and first aid pet supplies.

·        Comfort items such as a toy and blanket.

·        Small garbage bags.

·        For dogs: include a leash, harness and a sturdy carrier large enough to use as a sleeping area.

·        For cats: include a litter box and litter as well as a sturdy carrier large enough for transport.

The Montgomery County Animal Response Team (CART) is a volunteer outreach and education program dedicated to helping people prepare themselves and their pets for an emergency. During a large-scale emergency, CART volunteers will coordinate with the Red Cross and assist the Montgomery County Police Department’s Animal Services Division in establishing and operating a co-located pet-friendly emergency shelter in Montgomery County. Pet owners who are evacuated to a human shelter will be able to visit and care for their pet during its stay at the pet shelter.

For more information on pet preparedness in Montgomery County please visit http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/OEMHS/plan/disatpet.html        .

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Release ID: 14-139
Media Contact: Lucille Baur 240-777-6507

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