Disaster Preparedness Day: Plan Now for Animals, Says PETA

For Immediate Release:
May 6, 2021

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Norfolk, Va.

Ahead of National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day (May 8), PETA is offering vital advice to help ensure the safety of animals during inclement weather, including hurricanes and other storms. Would you please provide your audience with the following key information? It could save the lives of cats, dogs, rabbits, hamsters, and other animals, who should always be included in disaster-preparedness plans:

  • Keep animals indoors with you if you choose not to evacuate. Never leave them tethered, penned, or crated.
  • If you evacuate, do not leave animals behind, as they could drown or be killed by collapsing roofs or falling debris. Never think it may be safe to leave animals unsupervised in a car—they could suffer from heatstroke once the ambient temperature rises above 70 degrees, and the car could even be overturned, crushed, or flooded during a significant storm.
  • Plan your destination: Although some emergency shelters may not accept animals, some do, and many hotels and motels will accept animals, especially during an emergency.
  • During transport, keep animals in secure carriers and keep dogs in a harness and on a leash, as frightening surroundings can cause them to bolt. Ensure that your animal companions are microchipped and wearing legible ID tags, and take along water, food bowls, a favorite toy, a blanket, a towel, and enough food for a week. Never open the car door if there is a loose cat in the car.
  • Watch for other animals in trouble, including absent neighbors’ animals and others who may have gotten loose or been left behind. If you see any animals in distress and cannot help, note their location and call any responding authorities for help immediately. 

PETA’s Emergency Rescue Team has witnessed firsthand the trauma that animals can endure when left behind to face floodwaters and flying debris. We’ve found dogs dead, flung around in high winds, and up to their necks in water, unable to sit or lie down, in almost-submerged crates inside houses. 

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview—offers more information about emergency preparedness here, in a televised public service announcement (PSA), and in our printed PSAs. For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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