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How to Save Your Animals From Disaster

Written by PETA | May 4, 2011

After the nightmare of Hurricane Katrina—during which countless animals languished and died because their guardians were banned from taking them along during evacuations—FEMA has designated May 8 as National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day and is encouraging everyone to make emergency plans for their animal companions.

Cats and dogs aren’t any better equipped to survive an earthquake, a fire, a tornado, a flood, or a hurricane than we are, so it’s vital never to leave animals behind during a disaster. If emergency shelters refuse to accept animals, you and your animal companions may be able to stay with friends or family or at an animal-friendly hotel. Many hotels also waive “No animals allowed” policies during disasters.

Have your animals microchipped, and make sure that they wear secure, legible ID tags. Assemble an emergency kit with leashes, bowls, towels, blankets, litter pans and litter, and at least a week’s supply of food and medications. If you have no choice but to leave animals behind, leave out at least 10 days’ worth of dry food and water (fill sinks and every container you have), and place signs in windows and on doors indicating the number and type of animals inside—rescue teams may be able to save them.
 

 
Making emergency plans now will ensure that you and your animal companions can weather any storm.
 

Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post

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  • Kayla says:

    @ Ralphy The ones in Texas do not. In fact it is against health and safety codes for Texas emergency shelters. I have not worked in other states, so I can not say what they do or do not allow. I am glad to hear other places are beginning to allow it. @ Leathur, I am mildly allergic to cats too– but love my precious smokey, take Zyrtec and am fine– But not everyone has that luxury. What if there is a client at the shelter who can’t take medicine for any allergic reactions? Another law would be broken if shelter workers without a medical license were to dispense ANY medication, including over the counter. And it would be even foolisher to receive medicine from a stranger, someone hands me a pill says here take this, I’m not going to blindly follow them– even though with a medical license (paramedic and pre med) I would likely know what the pill is.

  • AshleyM says:

    I couldn’t leave my pets behind! They are Family! I’ve lived in Miami, and been through hurricanes so I know how bad it gets but I couldn’t leave them..

  • Leathur says:

    It is rediculous that shelters won’t permit people to bring their cats!Maybe some dogs bite but how many cats are attack cats?And as far as allergic people goes…I have a handful of friends who claim cat allergies.Truth is they just don’t like cats.My MOM is allergic YET she loves the cats and she takes red sinus pills and she is fine.I will NEVER leave my cat behind.

  • Leathur says:

    It is rediculous that shelters won’t permit people to bring their cats!Maybe some dogs bite but how many cats are attack cats?And as far as allergic people goes…I have a handful of friends who claim cat allergies.Truth is they just don’t like cats.My MOM is allergic YET she loves the cats and she takes red sinus pills and she is fine.I will NEVER leave my cat behind.

  • MA Moore says:

    I will never forget the Katrina disaster, one man and his dog were swimming along and a rescue boat offered to take the man but not the dog. The man replied, “my dog is my best friend and I am not leaving him”. I don’t know what happened to the pair, but I do believe rescuers are now required to take pets and people at the same time. What bothers me the most is the confined farm animals that have no means of escape during disasters. At least if they were required to open stalls doors and cages, the animals would have a fighting chance! Love to PETA!

  • Kayla says:

    Quote from Ralphy: “even the most domesticated pets will revert to their feral instincts in order to survive.” This is not true. Many animals, especially cats who have been de-clawed will not be able to survive torrential waters, high winds, and flying debris. I have worked with FEMA, CERT, and The Red Cross- none of their shelters allow pets except for service animals (seeing eye or seizure dogs for example). So wherever these “shelters that allow one pet” are, I would like to know……..I will tell you why they are not allowed. #1 – Safety – It isn’t always known how safe or dangerous an animal can be especially around children. # 2 – Health- What if another resident is allergic to one of the pets, it can cause anyphylactic shock. # 3 – Finally, liability. The shelter workers and other volunteers could potentially be sued in the case of a frightened dog attacking someone etc.