Expect the best, and prepare for the worst. Here are some quick tips to use to help weather the storm.
Resources and Articles
From the Magazine
A mock shelter evacuation illuminates the good, the bad, and the potentially lethal during crisis response.
The season that brought the worst ice storm in decades to Massachusetts brought the worst bushfires in history to the Australian state of Victoria. In this double feature, two shelter staff who worked through the disasters tell their stories, and emphasize the value of being prepared.
Animal shelters in nine jurisdictions in Northern Virginia have banded together to make sure that if disaster ever strikes their region, pet owners and their furry best friends will be able to seek refuge together.
In her recently released Filling the Ark, author and sociologist Leslie Irvine argues for better catastrophe planning and a new view of animals. She discusses her work and her on-the-ground experiences following Hurricane Katrina.
Wildfires don't deter animal control supervisor from saving hundreds of pets, livestock
Animals brought to shelters in mass numbers don't just come from animal hoarders. They may also arrive from raids on puppy mills, pet shops, or illegal animal shipments, or be victims of natural or manmade disasters. All shelters should have a plan in place for handling the influx when such situations occur.
Before the storm, animal welfare advocates were often left out of state and federal disaster planning. But the devastation left behind by Hurricane Katrina made the link between saving animals' lives and saving humans' all too clear.
In the course of saving dozens of dehydrated, malnourished, and severely sunburned Iowa pigs stranded on a Mississippi River levee by flooding, rescuers found they had to move beyond the initial rescue plan. Way beyond.
Loudoun County Animal Care & Control in Virginia has created a shelter evacuation plan in case of emergency.
Policies & Programs
With a network of regional offices and a nationwide response team, The Humane Society of the United States can provide shelter professionals and other local authorities with the expertise, leadership, and other tools necessary to coordinate animal response activities during a disaster.
The HSUS responds to animals in need many times a year and we rely upon our relationships with other organizations to provide ongoing care and/or find life-long loving homes for them. If your organization is interested in participating in the Emergency Placement Partners Program, please read more about the program and learn how you can apply.
Join The Humane Society of the United States in promoting National Preparedness Month during September.
The HSUS serves as a resource for animal-related and emergency management organizations and others concerned about the needs of animals before, during, and after disasters.
Feeling overloaded on incident-command acronyms? Figure them all out with the ASPCA's helpful guide.
Use these sample documents from the Western Massachusetts Disaster Animal Response Team Initiative to plan a pet-friendly shelter during a disaster.
Find your state's office or agency of emergency management, and access the disaster preparedness and recovery resources FEMA offers.
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- Animal Transfer Programs
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- Occupational Safety & Health Administration
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- Training, Staff & Volunteer