Including pets in evacuation planning is key to saving both human and animal lives
SACRAMENTO, CA (September 5, 2008) – As communities in the Southeastern United States prepare for the possible arrival of Tropical Storm Hanna and Hurricane Ike, United Animal Nations (UAN) reminds residents to keep their pets safe with the following steps:
1. Bring all pets indoors. Pets left to fend for themselves in high winds and heavy rain can get injured, lost, drown and even hamper human evacuation and recovery efforts. Also, keeping pets inside makes it easier for you to round them up if you have to evacuate.
2. Never leave your pet behind. If you evacuate, take your pets with you. It’s the surest way to guarantee their safety and make sure you are not separated by the storm. Find family or friends outside of the disaster zone who could accommodate pets, or locate pet-friendly hotels. A searchable database of pet-friendly accommodations is available at www.petswelcome.com or www.BringYourPet.com .
Residents wanting to find out if emergency animal shelters are available can contact their local American Red Cross chapter or local animal control agency. The following state-specific resources may also be helpful:
· Florida State Agricultural Response Team
· Georgia Emergency Management Agency
· North Carolina State Animal Response Team
· South Carolina Emergency Management Division
· Virginia Department of Emergency Management
3. Assemble an animal disaster kit that includes food, water, medications, a leash or cat carrier, and photos of your pet(s). This kit will prove useful if roads are blocked, stores are closed or you must evacuate.
4. Make sure all pets have an identification tag and permanent microchip so they can be found easily if lost or separated.
“Animals left to fend for themselves during hurricanes suffer terribly, and evacuees can compound their own stress by worrying about the pets they left behind,” said UAN President and CEO Nicole Forsyth. “For both human and animal safety, it is vital that every family include their pets in their evacuation plans.”
Pet owners can find other animal disaster preparedness information on the UAN Web site.
Through its volunteer-driven Emergency Animal Rescue Service (EARS), UAN provides free emergency sheltering for animals in communities that become overwhelmed by natural disasters or other crises. Since 1987, UAN has responded to more than 80 disasters, including deploying more than 400 volunteers to six locations in three states after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Founded in 1987, United Animal Nations (UAN) is