May 8 is National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day

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The Federal Emergency Management Agency's Citizen Corps has declared May 8, 2010, National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day.

The declaration is meant to raise awareness about the importance of planning for pets' safety before disaster strikes.

Citizen Corps is asking veterinarians and kennels to provide pet owners with tips on creating emergency plans for their companion animals. Additionally, the corps recommends partnering with a local pet store to hold an event offering pet disaster kit shopping lists and giveaways, such as identification tags.

"Preparedness is peace of mind, and including our animals in preparedness plans before an emergency or disaster is the best way to ensure the safety of people and their pets," said Dr. Heather Case, AVMA Scientific Activities Division director.

"Citizen Corps National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day is the perfect time for veterinarians to encourage their clients to develop appropriate animal evacuation plans and kits," Dr. Case said.

The AVMA offers an array of disaster preparedness resources, including "Saving the Whole Family," a client brochure on ways of providing for pets during an emergency. The brochure and other disaster planning resources are available here.