Plan for Pet Disaster Needs
Prepare to Shelter Your Pet
For public health reasons, many emergency shelters cannot accept pets.
Find out which motels and hotels in the area you plan to evacuate
to allow pets -- well in advance of needing them.
There are also a number of guides that list hotels/motels
that permit pets and could serve as a starting point.
Include your local animal shelter's number in your list of emergency
numbers -- they might be able to provide information concerning pets during a disaster.
Take pet food, bottled water, medications, veterinary records, cat litter/pan,
can opener, food dishes, first aid kit and other supplies with you in case they're
not available later. While the sun is still shining,
consider packing a "pet survival" kit which could be easily deployed if disaster hits.
Make sure identification tags are up to date and securely fastened to your pet's collar.
If possible,attach the address and/or phone number of your evacuation site.
If your pet gets lost, his tag is his ticket home.
Make sure you have a current photo of your pet for identification purposes.
Make sure you have a secure pet carrier, leash or harness for your pet so
that if he panics, he can't escape.
Call your local emergency management office, animal shelter, or animal control
office to get advice and information.
If you are unable to return to your home right away, you may need to board your pet.
Find out where pet boarding facilities are located.
Be sure to research some outside your local area in case local facilities close.
Most boarding kennels, veterinarians and animal shelters will need your pet's
medical records to make sure all vaccinations are current.
Include copies in your "pet survival" kit along with a photo of your pet.
NOTE: Some animal shelters will provide temporary foster care for owned pets in
times of disaster, but this should be considered only as a last resort.
If you have no alternative but to leave your pet at home, there are some
precautions you must take,but remember that leaving your pet at home alone can place your animal
in great danger!
Confine your pet to a safe area inside -- NEVER leave your pet chained outside!
Leave them loose inside your home with food and plenty of water.
Remove the toilet tank lid, raise the seat and brace the bathroom door open so they can drink.
Place a notice outside in a visible area, advising what pets are in the house and where they are located.
Provide a phone number where you or a contact can be reached as
well as the name and number of your vet.
During a Disaster
Bring your pets inside immediately.
Have newspapers on hand for sanitary purposes.
Feed the animals moist or canned food so they will need less water to drink.
Animals have instincts about severe weather changes and will often isolate themselves
if they are afraid.
Bringing them inside early can stop them from running away.
Never leave a pet outside or tied up during a storm.
Separate dogs and cats. Even if your dogs and cats normally get along, the anxiety of
an emergency situation can cause pets to act irrationally.
Keep small pets away from cats and dogs.
In an emergency, you may have to take your birds with you.
Talk with your veterinarian or local pet store about
special food dispensers that regulate the amount of food a bird
is given. Make sure that the bird is caged and the cage is
covered by a thin cloth or sheet to provide security and filtered light.
After a Disaster
If after a disaster you have to leave town, take your pets with you.
Pets are unlikely to survive on their own.
In the first few days after the disaster, leash your pets when they go outside.
Always maintain close contact.
Familiar scents and landmarks may be altered and your pet may become confused and lost.
Also, snakes and other dangerous animals may be brought into the area with flood areas.
Downed power lines are a hazard.
The behavior of your pets may change after an emergency.
Normally quiet and friendly pets may become aggressive or defensive.
Watch animals closely. Leash dogs and place them
in a fenced yard with access to shelter and water.
If you have large animals such as horses, cattle, sheep, goats,
or pigs on your property, be sure to prepare before a disaster.
Ensure all animals have some form of identification that will help facilitate their return.
Evacuate animals 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.
The evacuation sites should have or be able to readily obtain food, water, veterinary care,
handling equipment and facilities.
Make available vehicles and trailers needed for transporting and supporting each type of animal.
Also make available experienced handlers and drivers.
Note: It is best to allow animals a chance to become accustomed to vehicular travel so they are
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).
Cold Weather Guidelines:
When temperatures plunge below zero, livestock producers need to give extra attention to their animals.
Prevention is the key to dealing with hypothermia, frostbite and other
cold weather injuries in livestock.
Making sure your livestock has the following help prevent cold-weather maladies:
Plenty of dry bedding to insulate vulnerable udders, genitals and legs from
the frozen ground and frigid winds.
Windbreaks to keep animals safe from frigid conditions.
Plenty of food and water
Also, take extra time to observe livestock, looking for early signs of disease and injury.
Severe cold-weather injuries or death primarily occur in the very young or in
animals that are already debilitated.
Cases of coldweather-related sudden death in calves often result when cattle are
suffering from undetected infection, particularly pneumonia.
Sudden, unexplained livestock deaths and illnesses should be investigated quickly
so that a cause can be identified and steps can be taken to protect remaining animals.
Animals suffering from frostbite donít exhibit pain. It may be up to two weeks
before the injury becomes evident as freeze-damaged tissue starts to slough away.
At that point, the injury should be treated as
an open wound and a veterinarian should be consulted.
Prepare to Shelter Your Pet