Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences advises on taking pets with you when evacuating an area during a disaster.
No matter your location, preparation for disaster is always important. Disaster can strike at any moment, and some disasters can be so devastating they require evacuation. In the cases of evacuation from a disaster area, it is best to take your furry friends with you.
“After a disaster strikes, the area in and around homes can be quite dangerous for pets,” said Angela Clendenin, public information officer for the Texas A7M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences’ Veterinary Emergency Team.
Not all people choose to evacuate during a disaster, but Clendenin expresses that it is best to leave early when disaster gets close for the safety of those in your home, including pets. Clendenin recommends evacuating as soon as the first notice is issued.
“When evacuation is delayed, roads can get jammed with traffic or become impassible with early flooding or debris,” Clendenin said. “For those who need assistance with evacuating animals, resources may become scarce or non-existent as the threat from the disaster gets closer. Evacuating early ensures that pets and their owners are able to get to safety before the disaster hits.”
When disaster strikes, sometimes it can be difficult to remember everything that needs to be taken along in the evacuation. For this reason, Clendenin recommends pre-packing an emergency pet kit to simply grab and go in the case of an emergency.
“One of the best ways to prepare your pet for a potential disaster is to create a ‘go kit’ of necessary documents and supplies, which people can easily grab and transport with them in the event of an evacuation,” Clendenin concluded, “In the case that pet and livestock owners get separated, this kit should include photos of pets and descriptions of where livestock is located, using GIS coordinates, if possible. Ensuring your pets and livestock are microchipped or visibly tagged or marked is also a way to identify animals and establish ownership.”
For information on what to pack in a pet emergency kit, visit www.ready.gov/animals.
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