Pets depend on us for their safety and well-being, so be sure to include them in your family’s emergency response plan. The following information can help you design a safety plan for your pets:
Plan for Pet Disaster Needs
Take pet food, bottled water, medications, veterinary records, cat litter/pan, can opener, food dishes, first aid kit and other supplies with you in case they’re not available later. While the sun is still shining, consider packing a “pet survival” kid which could be easily deployed if disaster strikes.
Make sure identification tags are up to date and securely fastened to your pet’s collar. If possible, attach the address and/or phone number of your evacuation site. If your pet gets lost, his tag is his ticket home. Make sure you have a current photo of your pet for identification purposes.
Make sure you have a secure pet carrier, leash or harness for your pet so that if he panics, he can’t escape.
Prepare to Shelter Your Pet
Keep your pet with you if possible. There are many pet friendly hotels available.
New Hanover County Animal Control Services will shelter your pet at no cost.
Noble Middle School is a Co-location Shelter where you can seek shelter with your pet. You and your pet will be housed in separate locations of the school.
After a Disaster
If after a disaster you have to leave town, take your pets with you. Pets are unlikely to survive on their own.
In the first few days after the disaster, leash your pets when they go outside. Always maintain close contact. Familiar scents and landmarks may be altered and your pet may become confused and lost. Also, snakes and other dangerous animals may be brought into the area with flood waters.
The behavior of your pets may change after a disaster. Normally quiet and friendly pets may become aggressive or defensive. Watch animals closely. Leash dogs and place them in a fenced yard with access to shelter and water.
Your pet is part of your family. And just like any other member of the family, pets can become ill or injured. Here are a few tips to care for your pet in an emergency:
Always approach a sick or injured animal slowly and cautiously.
Watch the body expressions and sounds your pet makes to warn you. Even your own pet can be aggressive when in pain or frightened.
Do not make quick, jerky, or loud movements. They might further scare your pet.
When necessary, use towels or blankets to subdue cats or small dogs.
Keep the phone number and address of your veterinarian in a convenient location.
Have the phone number and address of an after-hours veterinary clinic on hand and keep directions to that clinic in the same place. Whenever possible, call ahead to let them know you’ll be coming.
Pay attention to what is normal for your pet so you can detect signals when something is wrong.