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Animals in Disasters Workshop takes place in Provo

PROVO, Utah (ABC 4 News) – When major weather happens or disaster strikes those who fare better often have an emergency plan in place. You may have a plan for your family, but what about your pets?
PROVO, Utah (ABC 4 News) – When major weather happens or disaster strikes those who fare better often have an emergency plan in place. You may have a plan for your family, but what about your pets?

For the next two days Superstorm Sandy first responders are working with Utah agencies on ways to ensure everyone makes it out safely.

Dr. David Chico is a veterinarian and a member of the New York Animal Response Organization. After the Sandy hit he worked around the clock for nearly six weeks making sure animals stuck at home with their owners got fed. He tells ABC 4 News close to 500 tons of pet food was distributed.

"If you're not providing food for the animals, the people are usually going to use the food that you're giving them and use it to feed their animals,” explained Dr. Chico.

Dr. Chico is in Provo to educate local emergency managers, city officials and animal control officers about the importance of having a well-rounded plan in place before disaster strikes.

Here in Utah it's not hurricanes we have to be prepared for, but wildfires.

Experts say if animal owners are ready and have a plan of their own, the easier it is for emergency personnel to help.

Julienne Meron, President of Utah Emergency Animal Response Coalition said, "When you are told you need to leave your home do you have a way to get your animals out? If you own horses do you own a trailer? You would be surprised how many people own horses and do not own a trailer, or trailers that don't have a truck to pull them."

So before disaster strikes the most important thing experts say you need to know is where you can take your animals in case of emergency.

“A lot of people don't think about it till it's too late and they're scrambling and panic ensues chaos, so have a plan,” said Meron.

For more information log on to: http://www.uearc.org/
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