With the above average amount of rain we’ve had here in the Houston area and the number of weather disasters in Texas, we thought that some information about creating an emergency plan for your pets would be appropriate.
In the event if an evacuation, pets often are left behind. By creating a plan, you can include your pets in the evacuation process. We found some great information on the FEMA website and want to share it with you.
Prior to a disaster create a family emergency plan that includes your pet(s). It is very important to:
- Make sure each pet's tags are up-to-date and fastened to its collar.
- Have a current photo of you and your pet(s) for identification purposes.
- Make a pet emergency kit.
- Identify shelters in advance that will allow your pets.
- Have a secure pet carrier, leash, or harness for your pet.
Ready.gov has a section with more information on taking care of your animals plus great ideas and tips for Caring for Animals.
Following a disaster, familiar scents and landmarks may be altered. Pets may become confused and lost, so it is critical to maintain close contact with and leash pets when they go outside. Also, snakes and other potentially dangerous animals displaced by the disaster may have migrated into the area (especially after flooding). In addition, downed power lines can also be a hazard for people and their pets. Be aware of your surroundings and protect your pet(s) and yourself.
Similar to children and adults, disaster-related stress may change a pet’s behavior. Normally quiet and friendly pets may become aggressive or defensive. Watch your animals closely, and be cautious around other animals – even pets you know. If you evacuate, take your pets with you!
Emergency Shelters for Pets
Contact local emergency management for information regarding availability of emergency shelters for pets. However, if you have no alternative but to leave your pet at home, there are some precautions you must take, but remember that leaving your pet(s) at home alone can place your animal(s) in great danger! Confine your pet(s) to a safe area inside -NEVER leave your pet(s) chained outside! Leave them loose inside your home with food and plenty of water.
Locate a Missing Pet
Pets displaced by a disaster are frequently kept in shelters and by organizations in the State where the disaster occurred. Contact your local humane society, animal welfare organization, County or State Animal Response Team to locate the shelters or organizations near you.
The search and rescue of pets lost during disasters is undertaken in a coordinated effort between State and local government and local animal response groups with support from FEMA and a range of national animal welfare organizations (such as NARSC, the Humane Society of the United States [HSUS], and Veterinary Medical Assistance Teams [VMATS]). If you are trying to locate pets lost as a result of a disaster, contact your local or State emergency management agency.
You can check www.211.org to determine if a particular area has 2-1-1 services. There can be additional services which can assist in locating pets or caring for pets after a disaster.
Dean and Draper
We hope that you have found this information useful and interesting. If you have questions about your insurance, we welcome you call.
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