Natural disasters in the form of earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tsunamis, and more strike unexpectedly and catch everyone off guard. The widespread damage caused to people, animals and property recently by Hurricane Katrina has been a reminder of the importance of preparing both yourself and your pet for unexpected disasters.
Here are eight ways to prepare in advance for your pet’s safety should disaster strike.
1. If you have to evacuate during an emergency, take your pets with you!
2. Keep a pet emergency kit at home in an accessible location, including food, water, photos of your pet, medications, and leashes.
3. Most emergency shelters cannot accept pets because of state health regulations, so have an alternate place in mind before disaster strikes, such as a pet-friendly hotel or relatives outside of your immediate area.
4. Pets should have current, securely fastened ID tags with your number and the number of a friend or relative outside your immediate area.
5. Contact your local humane society to find out if they set up emergency animal shelters, and where to take your pet if it is seriously injured during a disaster.
6. Keep your pets vaccinations up to date, and keep proof of vaccinations with your emergency kit.
7. If evacuation becomes necessary, leave early – if you wait until officials come to your door, they might not allow you to bring your pet.
8. If you have warning of an imminent disaster, make sure all of your pets are in the house, double check your supplies and confirm a place to stay.
The Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act:
The disaster of Hurricane Katrina devastated and affected us all. It also affected the lives of our beloved pets. Our nation’s preparedness programs have not taken into account how to help pet owners when stricken with disasters such as this magnitude. The Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act (PETS Act) is a law that would require state and local emergency authorities to accommodate pets and service animals in the event of a disaster, and to include that in their emergency plans and present their plans to FEMA.