On August 25, 2017, Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Houston, Texas. The natural disaster rocked the Southeast Texas region and displaced thousands of residents – and their pets. The American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that more than 30% of Houston’s population owned at least one dog or cat, and when taking into consideration the stray animals that reside there as well, Houston is home to a great deal of four legged friends.
Brave first responders (both local and out of state) came to the rescue of people who were victims of this powerful storm and it’s resulting floods. First responders were also joined by members of the SPCA who heroically worked to save animals from dogs to cats to horses and cattle from the effects of the storm. For more information on the Houston SPCA and how to help, click here.
Given the recent natural disaster in Texas, many pet owners are taking a look at how they can become more prepared if the worst were to strike in their own backyard. Keep reading for tips and info on disaster proofing and disaster preparedness!
Keep Pet IDs Up to Date
Microchipping your pet is the first line of defense for any emergency situation, whether looking for runaways or a pet who has escaped extreme weather. Make sure all pet info connected to the microchip is up to date, including any cell provider updates or address changes. It’s also highly advised to keep a recent photo of your pet in case they need to be located by rescue teams.
Create A Neighborhood Network
Get to know your neighbors and who would be interested and willing to help out in an emergency. This helps put a plan in place if someone is away from home when disaster strikes. Consider creating a calling tree with everyone’s name and number and pet needs, and include an outside contact so people can be alerted of a pet in need or a pet left behind.
Understand Your Options
If the worst does occur and you’re forced to evacuate your home to seek shelter, many shelters are forced to refuse animals due to health regulations. Do your homework and make a list of shelters that accept pets. Also call around to local pet hotels to see if they offer emergency lodging for fur-babies. The more prepared you are, the better chance your pet will have at finding a place to stay in a natural disaster.
Display a Rescue Decal
Rescue decals are incredibly important! Reach out to your local fire department for decals or simply them online, and display prominently in your front door and back door windows. Put your pet’s name and your phone number on the decal as well so rescuers can notify you if the pet has been retrieved. *If you’re able to get your pet to safety, write EVACUATED on the decal so rescue teams know not to go inside and waste precious time looking for a pet that’s already safe.
Preparedness is key to safety, so please keep all of the above in mind and hug your pet extra tight tonight! www.ItsADogsWorld.biz.