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National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day 2023: When & What Is It?

Jana Blagojevic

By Jana Blagojevic

Cute border collie puppy with an emergency kit isolated

National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day is a national holiday in the United States that every year, on May 8th, raises awareness of the importance of being prepared for a disaster. Most of us have developed evacuation or disaster plans without including our beloved furry companions. As much as this scenario might feel impossible, being prepared is everything!

Keep reading to discover why this day is important and how to commemorate it properly.

What is National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day?

National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day is a day that’s meant to raise awareness of pets’ safety in case of an emergency. It is crucial to plan your pet’s safety before a particular type of disaster occurs, and that is precisely the type of awareness this day is meant to bring. Being prepared for any kind of unpredictable scenario can help save your life and the life of your pet, so preparedness is the key in these awful situations. The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Citizen Corps is asking pet parents and veterinarians to create evacuation plans in case of a disaster to create a safer future for their pets.

When is It Celebrated?

Since large disasters and events have led to thousands of pets getting lost or killed, the Federal Emergency Management Agency decided to set up a date when pet owners could get educated on the importance of creating an evacuation plan for their pets in case of a disaster. Animal Disaster Preparedness Day began on May 8th, 2010, when the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Citizen Corps declared this day as a nation’s animal disaster awareness day. Ever since then, this day has been commemorated at the same time each year—on May 8th.

beagle dog wears a safety vest in autumn to stay safe during hunting season
Image Credit: Catherines Creativity, Shutterstock

How to Prepare for a Disaster

Since the vital aspect of this special day is to spread awareness and educate pet parents about proper preparedness in case of a disaster, we will include some of the most helpful tips on preparing yourself. While certain pet-related holidays are celebrated by spending quality time with pets, this holiday can save your pet’s life by educating yourself.

  • When creating an emergency evacuation plan in case of an emergency, include your pet in the plan.
  • In the event of an evacuation, don’t leave your pet behind. If a disaster occurs, you don’t want to leave your pet in a hazardous situation where it may be stuck for days.
  • If the evacuation for a particular disaster includes staying in your home, make sure to keep them in a confined space for their safety.
  • Have your pet microchipped so you can find it if it ever gets lost in a disaster.
  • Educate yourself, your friends, and your family on the importance of preparing for a disaster.
  • Ensure your pet has all its shots up to date in case it ends up at the shelter.

Final Thoughts

After reading about the importance of being ready and prepared for a disaster with your pet, you can react quickly and prevent any problems or accidents. Disasters are awful scenarios that none of us want to think about but planning ahead to keep your pet safe and secure will help things go a bit smoother during these stressful times.


Featured Image Credit: absolutimages, Shutterstock

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