Prepare an Evacuation Plan for Your Pets
By Bev Greco
-from The News of Cumberland County, Monday, September 12, 2011
(all CAPS and bold are my doing, not from the primary source)
"...The hurricane evacuation was actually a good drill for the shelter, receiving just 70 animals to care for. We were able to test our capabilities without being overrun. The storm was intense, but only left us with a short-term power outage and a little roof damage....
For the most part, the [cats and dogs] were little angels with only one accident the entire weekend,a dn even that was just a little initial reaction to being in a new place without mom or dad....
All in all, we were pretty happy with the way things went, but we were very lucky that the impact was limited.
Here's what we learned and what we hope to accomplish after this event:
-HAVE A "GO" BAG READY WITH ALL OUR PET SUPPLIES, VET RECORDS, IDENTIFICATION as well as BACKUP PLAN HOUSING WITH A FRIEND OR RELATIVE
As a SHELTER, we need to establish a larger group of trained volunteers to assist with pet care in the event of a larger or longer term emergency.
As a COUNTY, we need to establish a cohesive animal response team which includes: ALL the municipal animal response teams, the Office of Emergency Management, the manager of the human shelters and a national animal response team with the resources to assist in large scale operations.
...Given the weather patterns we've been experiencing the past couple of years, it;s time to get serious about our preparations.
After Hurricane Katrina, it was federally mandated that all states and counties have an evacuation plan for companion animals. Cumberland County has yet to comply with that mandate.
PLEASE SPEAK TO YOU LOCAL LEADERS in support of creating a good disaster response plan for our pets.
Let's not wait till it's too late