Including pets in evacuation planning is key to saving both human and animal lives
SACRAMENTO, CA (August 27, 2008) – As communities across the Gulf Coast prepare for the possible arrival of Hurricane Gustav, United Animal Nations (UAN) reminds residents to keep their pets safe with the following steps:
Bring all pets indoors. Pets left to fend for themselves in high winds and heavy rain can get injured, lost, die 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.
Identify potential evacuation locations in advance. A searchable database of pet-friendly accommodations is available at www.petswelcome.com or www.BringYourPet.com. Residents wanting to find an emergency animal shelter can contact their local American Red Cross chapter or local animal control agency.
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.
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.
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 Director of Programs Karen Brown. “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 at www.uan.org.
Through its volunteer-driven Emergency Animal Rescue Service (EARS), UAN provides free emergency sheltering and disaster relief services 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