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FEMA: Include Pets in Your Preparedness Plan

test4Humane society

Humane society  -  Photo: Melissa Smith

Many pets were found after tornadoes swept through the county on April 27th.

With September being National Preparedness Month, the Alabama Emergency Management Agency and FEMA is encouraging Alabamians to update their emergency plans to include pets.

"For millions of animal owners nationwide, pets are important members of the household," FEMA representatives said. "The likelihood that you and your animals will survive an emergency such as a fire, flood, tornado or terrorist attack depends largely on emergency planning done today. Knowing what supplies to have available, how to evacuate with your pets, where your pets will stay and how you will meet your pets’ needs throughout the disaster are all critical questions to address."

FEMA officials said pet owners should keep a pet emergency supply kit, which should include at least a three-day supply of food in an airtight, waterproof container, drinking water, bowls for the food and water, current photos of you and your pets together, physical descriptions of each pet, medication, vaccination records and first aid pet supplies.

Also included should be a leash and a pet carrier, which could double as a sleeping area and comfort items, such as favorite toys and blankets.

"Make a back-up emergency plan in case you can’t care for your animals yourself," FEMA representatives said.

"Develop a buddy system with neighbors, friends and relatives to make sure someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so. Talk with your pet care buddy about your evacuation plans and show them where you keep your pets’ emergency supply kit. Also designate specific locations, one in your immediate neighborhood and another farther away, where you will meet your buddy in an emergency."

Posted: Tuesday, September 27, 2011 4:03 pm -  Lindsay Slater

Toolkit Overview

The Ready Campaign, FEMA, Citizen Corps, American Red Cross, and The Humane Society of the United States have come together to develop this emergency preparedness toolkit that can assist you in your planning efforts as you work toward keeping your community, and specifically, the pets and people who care for them, safe from disasters.

This toolkit provides you with the resources on how to stay current on your local pet disaster plan, policies and procedures; examples of how to promote preparedness in your communities and engage other organizations in your efforts; as well as resources to educate the community about how to assemble a pet emergency supply kit and make a family emergency plan. In addition, there is a tools section that provides sample preparedness brochures, PowerPoint templates and press materials you can use to develop and distribute your internal and external preparedness messaging.

Preparing our families, homes and businesses for unexpected disasters is a civic virtue. Thank you for your commitment to making our communities safer for the pets we call family!

Community Pets Preparedness Toolkit Web Banners, Zip Archive Community Pet Preparedness Toolkit Banners 112 Kb – Zip Archive

Ready Pets Toolkit And Additional Information

Find pet-friendly hotels, bed and breakfasts and campgrounds throughout the United States and Canada – Website
Animal Specific Information in English and Spanish from The Palo Alto Humane Society (PAHS) – Website
Ready Campaign Pets Toolkit Word Document Ready Campaign Pets Toolkit Word Document 1.5 Mb – MS Word
Ready Campaign Pets Toolkit Promotional FlyerReady Campaign Pets Toolkit Promotional Flyer 133Kb – Adobe Acrobat PDF
LLIS Animals In Disaster Fact Sheet PDF, Adobe Acrobat Required LLIS Animals In Disaster Fact Sheet 78Kb – Adobe Acrobat PDF
Shelter Operations Pet-Friendly Shelters PDF, Adobe Acrobat Required Shelter Operations Pet-Friendly Shelters 205Kb – Adobe Acrobat PDF
Pet Sheltering Building Community Response PDF, Adobe Acrobat Required Pet Sheltering Building Community Response 37Kb – Adobe Acrobat PDF
National Response Framework Fact Sheet PDF, Adobe Acrobat Required National Response Framework Fact Sheet 83Kb – Adobe Acrobat PDF
Community Pet Preparedness Customizable MS Powerpoint Document Community Pet Preparedness Customizable PowerPoint 5.3 Mb – MS Powerpoint
Ready Preparing Your Pets for Emergencies Makes Sense Hand Out PDF, Adobe Acrobat Required Ready Preparing Your Pets for Emergencies Makes Sense Hand Out 626Kb – Adobe Acrobat PDF
Metro DC Council Of Governments Companion Animal Evacuation and Sheltering Public Information Materials PDF, Adobe Acrobat Required Metro DC Council Of Governments Companion Animal Evacuation and Sheltering Public Information Materials 11.9Mb – Adobe Acrobat PDF

Source: ready.gov/pets  h/t to the Times Journal

September 29, 2011 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , | 8 Comments

Make sure the pets are safe during storms

As of early Thursday afternoon, it appears Southeastern North Carolina will miss – thankfully – the worst that Hurricane Earl has to offer.

But at least minimal tropical storm force winds could effect the region, especially the further up the coastline you go. It is important that any outdoor pets are offered proper shelter during this event.

As most of you already know, I push for pets to live inside, where the creature comforts are. But I realize some pets do live outside. Still, all domestic animals should be offered a safe place during periods of extreme hot or cold weather and during storms.

We’ve softened domestic animals up quite a bit over thousands of years of domestication. So they aren’t quite as able to withstand harsh conditions – compared to their wild counterparts.

I know the regular readers of the Animal Tales column and the Cape Fear Critters blog already take great care of their pets, but you may need to offer a friendly reminder to others.

Stay save everyone. It looks like the hurricane season is just heating up. And it looks like Gaston, far to the east of Earl, is taking a similar path, if the early models are to be believed.

by Tom Grady –  Cape Fear Critters

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FEMA: Preparing For A Disaster: Planning For Pets And Livestock

Release Date: July 26, 2004
Release Number: 1526-036

MADISON, Wis. — Disasters, such as hurricanes, tornadoes and floods don’t just affect people – they also affect pets and other animals. Planning ahead in the event of a natural disaster can protect the safety and well being of you and your pet.

Humans who refuse evacuation or re-enter evacuated areas to rescue pets that were left behind during a disaster put themselves and their pet in great danger, as well as first responders who may be needed to rescue those people. Conversely, pets that are left behind in an evacuation are put at increased risk for straying, disease and death. Residents should take steps to know their risk, learn the evacuation procedures for their area and create a plan for how their family (and pets!) would react to a natural disaster.

The consequences of not planning for animals:

  • After Hurricane Floyd and related, widespread flooding, North Carolina State University rescued and kenneled 450 small animals (mostly dogs) and more than 700 were kenneled through East Carolina University. Of those rescued animals, North Carolina State reported an abandonment rate of nearly 80%.
  • In the same disaster, approximately 2.9 million pets and livestock were killed.

Prevention tips: Protecting the life of your pet with planning

Create a disaster kit
Pack extra pet care and transportation items in an easy to grab kit, including:

  • Extra collars, tags and leashes for all pets and extra pet food with a manual can opener if needed
  • A supply of stored drinking water
  • Toys or blankets the pet will find familiar
  • Paper towels, plastic bags and disinfectant for waste clean-up
  • Copies of your pet’s medical and vaccination records
  • Extra supplies of any medications your pet is currently taking

If you need to evacuate

  • Take your pets with you whenever possible (only service animals are allowed in Red Cross shelters)
  • Identify “pet friendly” hotels (www.petswelcome.com).
    • Board with friends/relatives in a safe area.
    • Check with your local animal shelter.
    • Leave in plenty of time – you may not be able to take your pet at the last minute.
  • Identify your pets, include your address, phone number and the phone number of a friend outside of the disaster range. Have photos for identification purposes.
  • To transport your animals safely:
    • Condition your animals to being in a cage/carrying case/pen/trailer.
    • Keep animals on a strong leash/harness.
    • Take three to five days’ worth of supplies – food, water, high water-content fruits/vegetables, medication, cat litter, “comfort toys.”
    • Birds/lizards – blanket to keep cage warm/plant mister to hydrate feathers.
    • Snakes – pillowcase to transport/heating pad for warmth/water bowl to soak.
    • Pocket pets (hamsters/gerbils) – cage/bedding material/water bottles.

If you must leave your pets behind

  • Leave them untied in an interior room with adequate air and no windows – such as a bathroom.
  • Purchase a self-feeder in advance and leave enough food and water for at least three days. Leave faucet dripping with drain open.
  • Leave favorite bed and toys.
  • Place notice on front door with location and type of pets, their names and your contact phone number.
  • NEVER leave animals tied up outside.

Disaster Preparedness for Livestock Owners
During a disaster, the behavior and activities of livestock can change dramatically. Advice on disaster planning and precautions is available from several sources, including the Humane Society of the United State (HSUS), your local emergency management office, animal control center and area veterinarians.

  • EVACUATE LIVESTOCK WHENEVER POSSIBLE. Arrangements for evacuation, including routes and host sites, should be made in advance. Alternate routes should be mapped out in case the planned route is inaccessible. Evacuation sites should have or be able to readily obtain food, water, veterinary care, handling equipment and facilities.
  • Trucks, trailers, and other vehicles suitable for transporting livestock (appropriate to the type of animal) should be available, along with experienced handlers and drivers to transport them. Whenever possible, the animals should be accustomed to these vehicles in advance so they’re less frightened and easier to move.
  • If evacuation is not possible, a decision must be made whether to move large animals to available shelter or turn them outside. This decision should be determined based on the type of disaster and the soundness and location of the shelter (structure). All animals should have some form of identification that will help facilitate their return.
  • Your disaster plan should include a list of emergency phone numbers for local agencies that can assist you if disaster strikes – – including your veterinarian, state veterinarian, local animal shelter, animal care and control, county extension service, local agricultural schools and the American Red Cross. These numbers should be kept with your disaster kit in a secure, but easily accessible place.

For more information on disaster planning for pets and other animals, visit the web site of The Human Society of the United States (HSUS) at http://www.hsus.org/ace/18730.

On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA’s continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages Citizen Corps, the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.

Last Modified: Monday, 26-Jul-2004 09:03:22

September 2, 2010 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rights And Awareness, animals, Just One More Pet, Pets, responsible pet ownership, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Keeping Our Pets (Animals) Safe – Part I

I’m a high school student in Northern Virginia, and, although I see how much devastation a disaster can cause in other areas of the country, our community generally doesn’t get hurricanes, tornados or wildfires.

Of course, we hear about tsunamis, floods, or fires, but they seem far away, unrelated to my day-to-day life. If I pay attention at all, I only hear about the pain and loss to humans, but not what happens to their beloved pets in the aftermath of a disaster.

All that changed for me when Katrina struck Louisiana and Mississippi. My mom, who works for The Humane Society of the United States, went down to help the four-legged victims who were also in desperate need of attention. She helped with everything from going into the city and breaking windows and doors to bring animal victims to safety to matching the descriptions of beloved cats and dogs with their owners to grooming horses and cleaning their manes and hooves. She tried to give all of these animals some dignity in the middle of chaos. It really struck me that I had no idea how my family would care for our pets in an emergency but I was certain, I didn’t want my pets, or those of my friends and neighbors, to end up like these dogs, cats, horses, and even parrots and iguanas had.

Our pets are a huge part of our family that we could never leave behind. We have two dogs and a horse that is boarded about an hour away from our home. I know that if an emergency happens that they are not all going to fit in the back of our SUV. And even if they did, I knew from the reports from New Orleans, I wouldn’t know where we could go. So I began to form a plan. But then I thought, I have a plan for us, but what about Obie, the cat next door? Or Jenny, the dog, that lives down the street?

I decided to organize an Emergency Preparedness day for my community. I knew I couldn’t change the world, but with this little effort I might encourage my friends and neighbors to consider developing a plan so, unlike some of the New Orleans residents, they, and their pets, might have a better outcome, if disaster struck. I chose a nearby park and called the police, our animal control agency, FEMA and our local County Supervisor, as well as the Red Cross, and asked them to help me encourage our community to develop a plan. I also distributed Ready pet brochures to everyone who attended.

What I found, even after Katrina, is that everyone had questions and the answers weren’t easy to find. The toughest was what are the emergency evacuation routes? I had to talk with the state’s Department of Transportation to get this information. This shows the importance of thinking ahead and really planning in advance.
To make sure my horse was well cared for in an emergency situation, I got her micro-chipped so my phone number, her vet and several emergency contacts were stored in a secure database. This is a very simple step that can ensure your pets will be returned to you if they get separated from your family. I also now plan to spray paint my phone number on her if I am ever separated from her. She may not be pretty, but if someone finds her I know I have a better chance of bringing her home.

The other thing my family did was to add extra pet food and supplies to our emergency supply kit. My family was featured in an instructional video for Ready.gov that explains how to deal with emergency preparedness for pets. You should check it out.

I think the thing I really learned from Katrina, is that, like my family, there are many Americans who consider their pets a part of their family, and they will protect them as they would a son or daughter. What we need to do, in our families, communities, and country is to be responsible and plan for our entire family, which includes both our two- and four-legged members, so that if, and when disaster occurs, we all are cared for and can survive. I hope, in some small way, I have helped my community achieve this goal.

Cricket Clayton – Originally Written and Posted Sept 2008

Source:  National Preparedness Month

Everyone should have an emergency bag for themselves, their families and their pets for minor emergencies and then emergency plans and supplies for major emergencies for themselves, their families and their pets… one for evacuation situations and one for stationary (stay at home) long term emergencies.

Posted: Just One More Pet

October 9, 2009 Posted by | Animal Abandonement, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rescues, Animal Rights And Awareness, animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment