For many people, pets are more than just animals – they are an important part of our families and in some homes they are Service Animals, as such, they ought to be included in any emergency planning process. A few simple steps taken to ensure your pet’s safety will go a long way to ensure your peace of mind whenever disaster should occur.
Please read the following information very carefully and use it to plan for your pet’s safety:
EVACUATING WITH YOUR PET:
Think about where you will go with your pet[s] and how you will get there if you have to leave home during an emergency. In planning for an emergency evacuation take these steps:
- Plan beforehand for relatives or friends outside of the [possible] affected areas to shelter your pet[s].
- Identify animal-friendly hotels/motels outside of your immediate neighborhood.
- Speak with your local vet, boarding kennel, or grooming facility to see if they can offer safe shelter for your pet[s] during an emergency, or if they can suggest where such shelters can be found. Make contact with the places they might suggest and make them part of your Plan.
- Create a Go-Bag for your pet or Service Animal [See Pet Go Bag Checklist].
- Practice Evacuation Plans to familiarize yourself and your pet[s] with the process as this will help to increase confidence and comfort levels for everyone involved.
- Know your pet[s] hiding places so they can easily be found in any such emergency situation.
- Keep in mind that a stressed animal may behave differently during these times and that this may be manifested as unusually aggressive behavior. Use a certified Evacuation Muzzle to prevent bites. [See Proguard Evac Muzzles]. You should also remember that frightened animals may try to flee.
TIP: Pets in carriers are allowed on [NYC] MTA subways, buses, and trains [find out if this is the case where YOU live]. [In NYC] when an evacuation order is declared, pets too large for carriers will also be allowed, provided those animals are muzzled and controlled on a sturdy leash no longer than four feet. [In New York City, the Authorities will announce when such a policy is in effect.] Bring supplies to clean up after your pet[s]. Only legal animals will be allowed on board these facilities. As a reminder, Service Animals are considered legal animals.