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Disaster preparation

Hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, floods, large-scale hoarders—these are just some of the natural and man-made disasters that animal welfare groups have to deal with. If something happened, would your organization be prepared? We have resources to help you develop your disaster preparedness plan.

  • Disaster FAQ

    What shelters and rescues need to know about the Hurricanes Maria, Irma and Harvey, as well as the wildfires in Oregon and Montana.

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Most recent Tools and Resources > Disaster preparation

  • Magazine Article

    Weathering the storms, part IV

    Despite sustaining damage, the South Florida Wildlife Center opened immediately after Hurricane Irma.

    Learning Andrew’s lessons in Florida

    In 1992, Hurricane Andrew struck Florida just south of Miami. Although around 1.2 million residents evacuated in the face of the Category 5 storm, some stayed behind with their pets, knowing evacuation shelters wouldn’t accept them. Others returned home to find pets missing or crushed under the rubble.

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  • Magazine Article

    Weathering the storms, part III

    Armed with safety equipment, supplies and experience, members of the HSUS Animal Rescue Team wade into Texas floodwaters to rescue animals stranded by the storm.

    The heart of Texas

    Yes, Hurricane Harvey was a catastrophe. The historic storm dumped trillions of gallons of water on Texas last summer, destroying homes and disrupting thousands of human and animal lives.

    But amid the chaos and destruction, people’s resilience came shining through, along with their compassion and willingness to cooperate. The storm forced pet owners in the Houston area and along the Gulf Coast to evacuate, but the animal welfare community responded by working together, setting up shelters and arranging transports. Donations poured in from a public moved to help.

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  • Magazine Article

    Weathering the storms, part II

    HSUS rescuer and senior wildlife adviser Dave Pauli works with a horse in Vieques who had wandered off her property before Hurricane Irma and was discovered in horrible condition. Her treatment included a tetanus vaccination, vitamins, deworming paste and quality feed.

    Going the distance for pets in Puerto Rico

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    On an ordinary day, the main plaza in Vieques’ Isabel Segunda neighborhood comes alive with town hall meetings or morning yoga classes. But on Oct. 1, 11 days after Hurricane Maria struck the small island off the coast of Puerto Rico, the plaza was filled for a very different reason.

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  • Magazine Article

    Weathering the storms, part I

    Staff and volunteers from The HSUS and other groups prepare to whisk homeless cats and dogs out of Hurricane Irma’s path in Florida and deliver them to HSUS emergency placement partners.

    Facing a string of hurricanes, animal welfare groups leap into action

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    Late last summer, storm after storm pounded Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico. But thanks to disaster preparation and purposeful collaboration, animal welfare organizations rescued thousands of shelter pets, wildlife and farm animals—and ensured that owned pets were reunited with their families once the storms subsided.

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  • Magazine Article

    Put it in writing

    Written agreements were key to rescue efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and helped ensure that partnering organizations were pulling in the same direction.

    Good written agreements make for better relationships, in disasters and everyday shelter work

    Twelve years ago, Hurricane Katrina left chaos in its wake. Animal welfare agencies across the country hustled to get animals to safety, but the scope of such a massive response made it difficult to coordinate efforts. Sometimes it was hard to tell who was in charge of what, who had the authority to make decisions, or where animals had gone post-evacuation. 

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  • Magazine Article

    Disaster FAQ

    What shelters and rescues need to know about the Hurricanes Maria, Irma and Harvey, as well as the wildfires in Oregon and Montana.

    What shelters and rescues need to know about the Hurricanes Maria, Irma and Harvey, as well as the wildfires in Oregon and Montana.

    Read More