When people talking or thinking about the aftermaths of hurricanes, they always remember how many people died or injured, how many residential houses and commercial buildings damaged, how expensive it will be to restore all of these damages for local budgets and insurance companies. But there is one more terrible aftermath that mentioned much fewer times. We speaking about abandoned pets. So many of them left without owners on the street or in animal shelters.
According to the latest data from ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), over 100 thousand pets became abandoned by their owners in Louisiana right after Hurricane Katrina. Moreover, many more pets have been left in shelters in further months because their owners decided that they cannot care about them anymore due to the hurricane aftermaths.
Such a case happened not only in Louisiana during Katrina, but unfortunately, it is a common situation during any natural and human-made disaster. Due to such a level of pets’ unsafety during disasters, the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act has been enacted by the United State of America government in 2006. This act is the guarantee that the needs of pet owners will be taken into account during emergency preparedness planning on the local and state levels. And American citizens were able to see results of this act when the eastern coast was prepared for Hurricane Irene.
During cities’ preparation for Irene, people already knew that they have a right to evacuate their pets also. That is why all the shelters for people allowed to take pets with them. It helps to make pet owners a little bit calmer in this stressful situation and save many animals’ lives.
Does not matter what exactly type of emergency you faced, is it wildfire, river flooding, hurricane, or even terrorist attack that threatens your residential house, in any case, your and your pet safety depends on your readiness for such situation. FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) recommends preparing an emergency plan to increase your and your pet chances to survive. You will not need to prepare a unique plan for every single type of emergency, because your actions in all cases will be the same or very similar.
In case you faced disaster and the level of danger is high enough to make local authorities order an evacuation, you should take your pet with you. If the situation is dangerous for you, it is even more dangerous for your pet. For such a case, you should have a pet emergency kit prepared in advance.
Here is a list of steps that pet owners should do to prepare for disaster created by ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals):
- Take your pet inside of your home in case you noticed signs of a hurricane or another type of disaster;
- Make sure that all of your pets have collars and all collars include necessary for pet identification information;
- Consider an opportunity for micro-chipping, because it is more than helpful in searching for a lost pet after a hurricane. For example, after the tornado happened in Missouri in 2011, over 1,3 thousand pets were found thanks to this technology.
- Stick a special rescue alert stickers on your residential house to inform firemen and rescue workers that there are pets in the house;
- Find a good and safe place, for example, a shelter where you can leave your pets, in case you will need to evacuate and will not be able to take them with you;
- Choose a caregiver for your pets for the case if you will not be able to care for them;
- Prepare a pet emergency kit and make sure that everything necessary is packed, such as medications, medical records, as well as water and food for 5-7 days;
- In case you are an owner of small or exotic pets such as hamsters, reptiles, or birds, you should take their specific needs into account during your emergency plan preparation.
In case you still have some questions or your property in Illinois faced a disaster, call Signature Water and Fire Restoration and our specialists will help you to handle any type of issues related to it. Here is our 24/7 phone number: 1-224-515-0100.