The American Red Cross Santa Monica chapter and the City of Santa Monica Emergency Services Department, in conjunction with Santa Monica Organizations Active in Disasters, is offering a free “Emergency Preparedness Training Seminar for Pet Owners.”

The pet owners seminar is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, February 17th, at the Santa Monica Red Cross chapter at 1450 11th St.

In preparing for a disaster such as an earthquake, flood or hurricane, families should have enough non-perishable food, water and essential supplies on hand to sustain them for a week, according to the Red Cross. Any family emergency plan should include supplies needed for the family pet, Red Cross staff say.

The Emergency Preparedness for Pet Owners seminar will feature a presentation by Capt. David Havard of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), Los Angeles, and Dr. Karen Halligan, SPCA Los Angeles director of Veterinary Services and author of the book, “What Every Pet Owner Should Know.”

Havard and Halligan have been involved in animal rescue following Hurricane Katrina and other natural disasters. Halligan also appears on the Animal Planet cable television show “Groomer Has It.” There will also be a roundtable discussion for residents, emergency planners and others concerned about meeting the special needs of pets at a time of disaster.

Founded by the City of Santa Monica and the American Red Cross of Santa Monica, the Organizations Active in Disasters brings together numerous members of the community including nonprofit service providers, response agencies, schools, religious institutions, businesses, residents, neighborhood organizations, government agencies and others.

The organization was created immediately following Hurricane Katrina in September 2005 to meet the needs of the 250 families and individuals who evacuated from the Gulf Coast to Santa Monica and environs. The group’s purpose is to assist people in the Santa Monica community in preparing, surviving and recovering from disasters by working together and sharing resources and expertise.

The “Emergency Preparedness for Pet Owners” seminar is intended to share information in disaster planning in relation to pets and their needs before, during and after a disaster.

Lunch and parking will be provided. Visitors are asked to not bring pets to the seminar. Advance reservations are required. No walk-ins. Reservations should be made by Friday, February 13th to Lynda Jackson, City of Santa Monica, (310) 458-2221, or