From FEMA website: The family pet can be overlooked until the final frantic moments before a hurricane or other natural disaster, but a little planning can ensure pet safety and care during an evacuation.
The best thing you can do to ensure the safety of your pets is to take them with you when you evacuate. Pets that are left behind can be injured, lost or killed during a hurricane, say officials of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Pet owners should put a hurricane evacuation disaster plan in place for animals before hurricanes threaten. Evacuation preparation is a key focus in advance of the hurricane season that started June 1.
"Just like with your family, evacuation plans for animals take time and planning," said MEMA Director Robert Latham. "The most important thing you can do for your pets now is to make sure their immunizations are current and they have proper identification."
Many hurricane shelters do not allow pets, except for service animals, so it is important to identify in advance those that do. Plan ahead to insure your family and pets will have a safe place to stay.
Here are some other tips for pet owners:
More information about protecting pets and livestock in the event of a hurricane is available on the Mississippi Board of Animal Health website, www.mbah.state.ms.us.
- Leave early if you live in an area that may be evacuated.
- Pets should wear up-to-date identification and be micro-chipped.
- Take your animal's food with you. Stressed animals may experience intestinal problems, but using the same food will help reduce the trouble.
- Have copies of pets' vaccinations, medical records and prescriptions.
- Keep a pet carrier and leash close at hand.
FEMA manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, works with state and local emergency managers, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003