by Sarah Speed, Pennsylvania director, HSUS
(Sept. 8, 2011) — The Humane Society of the United States reminds residents of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and other Northeast states where historic flooding has occurred to take pets with them if ordered to evacuate.
Heavy rain across Northeastern states has caused flash flooding and already more than 100,000 people have been told to evacuate in Pennsylvania. Flood watches and warnings are in effect across the region. “People should be ready to bring their animals inside and out of the heavy rain if they are able to stay at home, or take their pets with them if asked to evacuate,” advised Sarah Speed, The HSUS’ Pennsylvania state director. “If it isn’t safe for you, it isn’t safe for your pets.”
Pet owners should have an emergency plan that includes the safety of their animals, and always be informed about the potential for evacuation in they are in area with rivers, lakes or water sources. If you are able to stay at home, pets should be wearing collars and identification tags and kept under your direct control. It’s also important to provide for your pets in the event you lose electricity, making certain they also have adequate food and water.
This emergency supply kit should include:
• Three-or-more-day supply of food in airtight, waterproof container, and drinking water.
• Bowls for food and water.
• Current photos and physical description of your pets, including details on markings.
• Medications, vaccination records and pet first aid supplies.
• Comfort items such as a toy and blanket.
• Small garbage bags.
• For dogs include: leash, harness and a sturdy carrier large enough to use as a sleeping area.
• For cats include: litter and litter box and a sturdy carrier large enough for transport.
Pet owners should be aware that many evacuation shelters do not accept pets, and they must plan their destination in advance. Hotels and motels may be willing to lift “no pet” restriction in an emergency. Friends and family members living outside the area may be able to provide shelter too. Please check with your local animal shelter or emergency management office to determine if a pet friendly emergency shelter will be set up in your location. Pet owners should remember that having your pet microchipped dramatically increases the chanced of reunion if that pet becomes lost.
More than 358 million pets reside in 63 percent of American households. A Zogby International poll found that 61 percent of pet owners will not evacuate if they cannot bring their pets with them.
For more tips on preparedness plans that include your pets, visit humanesociety.org/prepare
Photo by G.Chris Clark
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