Department of Public Health Celebrates National Preparedness Month; Pets Included at Event

Many lessons have been learned through the hardships and struggles faced by American communities after natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and the recent California wildfires. The main thing to remember is that pets need to be a part of your preparedness plan and the Department of Public Health (DPH) is working to remind our community of that fact.

September is national preparedness month. America’s #PrepareAthon Is a grassroots campaign for action to increase individual and community preparedness and resilience.

Throughout the month, organizations, schools, and communities around the country practice for relevant, local hazards. The goals of the campaign are to increase the number of people who understand which disasters could happen in their community, and how to respond in a way that will keep them and their families, including their pets, safe!

Members of the DPH Preparedness Program will join with the City of El Paso Parks and Recreation Department to provide information and resources during the 8th annual “Dog Day Swimming Event.”  It will take place on Saturday and Sunday, September 10th and 11th from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Nations Tobin Aquatic Center.

The Emergency Preparedness program will be providing information how you can keep our furry friends safe before, during, and after an emergency. (Admission to the 8th annual event is $2 per dog and pet owners must bring a copy of their dog’s shot records in order to participate in the event. Dogs that only have collar tags will not be allowed to participate. All shot records must show current on rabies, distemper and parvo information.)

“Recent surveys show that almost six out of every ten adults in our country have not practiced what to do in a disaster by participating in a disaster drill or preparedness exercise at work, school, or home in the past year,” said April Priest, Emergency Preparedness Planner. “Less than half of these adults have developed an emergency plan and discussed it with their family.”

With the number of disasters on the rise, America’s PrepareAthon! is an opportunity for individuals, organizations, and communities to take action to prepare for specific hazards through outreach events, group discussions, drills, and exercises. Residents can participate in many events throughout the month to support the #PrepareAthon Campaign.

They can follow the DPH via Facebook and Twitter at EP Public Health to learn more about keeping you and your loved ones safe in a disaster.