WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, August 29, 2019 — With meteorologists predicting that Hurricane Dorian could make landfall in the Southeastern United States as a Category 3 or 4 storm this Monday, the animal rescue experts at American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization, are issuing key tips to help you keep yourself, your family and your animals safe – before, during and after a storm.
Before the storm
- Microchip pets or put a tag on their collar with your name, address and cellphone number so they may be returned quickly in case you are separated from your pets.
- Tie down or anchor outside objects that might fly about and injure someone.
- Evacuate your family and pets as early as you can and remember to take your disaster preparedness kit for your pets (i.e. First Aid kit, leashes, and pets’ carrying cases, bowls, sanitation materials, chew toy, minimum 3 days, ideally 7-10 days of food, meds, water).
- Bring pets inside; bring outdoor animals inside with a carrier ready large enough to turn around and lie down comfortably.
- Review your evacuation plan and double-check emergency supplies, bowls, water, food.
- Have a carrier at the ready.
- If your family must evacuate, take your pets with you.
During the storm….if you cannot evacuate
- Choose a safe room for riding out the storm—an interior room without windows – and take your entire family there, including your pets.
- Stay with pets. If crated, they depend on you for food and water.
- Keep your emergency kit in that room with you (food, water, litter, meds).
- Know your pet’s hiding places. That’s where they may run; keep them with you.
- Secure exits and cat doors so pets can’t escape into the storm.
- Do not tranquilize your pets. They’ll need their survival instincts should the storm require that.
After the storm
- Make sure the storm has fully passed before going outside and assess damages before allowing animals out.
- Keep dogs on a leash and cats in a carrier. Displaced objects and fallen trees can disorient pets and sharp debris could harm them.
- Give pets time to become re-oriented. Familiar scents and landmarks may be altered and cause a pet to become confused or lost.
- Keep animals away from downed power lines and water that may be contaminated.
- Uncertainty and change in the environment affect animals, too, presenting new stresses and dangers. Your pet’s behavior may change after a crisis, becoming more aggressive or self-protective. Be sensitive to these changes and keep more room between them, other animals, children or strangers. Animals need comforting, too. Comfort your pet with kind words and lots of pats or hugs. If possible, provide a safe and quiet environment, even if it is not their own home.
“Hurricanes are among the deadliest of storms,” says Dr. Robin Ganzert, PhD, president and CEO of American Humane. “Fortunately, American Humane Rescue has worked in disaster relief for more than 100 years and has amassed a lot of practical knowledge on how families can prepare and, if there is no way to avoid the storms, weather them as well as possible and keep loved ones safe afterwards.”
About American Humane
American Humane is the country’s first national humane organization, founded in 1877, and the first to serve animals in disasters and cruelty cases. Visit American Humane at www.AmericanHumane.org today.
About the American Humane Rescue program
The American Humane Rescue program was created in 1916 and began rescuing and aiding some 68,000 war horses wounded on the battlefields of World War I Europe each month. Since then, they have been helping animals of every kind and have been involved in virtually every major disaster relief effort from Pearl Harbor to 9/11, the Joplin, Missouri and Moore, Oklahoma tornadoes, the Japanese and Haitian earthquakes, Hurricanes Katrina, Sandy, Harvey, Maria, Florence and Michael, and the California wildfires. The American Humane Rescue team saved, sheltered and fed more than 800,000 animals in the past two years alone. To support their lifesaving work, please visit www.AmericanHumane.org.