Helping Spike at a disaster shelter after Hurricane Katrina

Many people fear being faced with a natural or man-made disaster and having to flee their home with their companion animals. Most people do not have an evacuation plan in place until it’s too late. In the past few weeks, this country has suffered several natural disasters: the wildfires in Colorado that continue to burn; the high-wind storms that swept through the Washington D.C. area last Friday leaving 5 million people and animals in the dark and sweltering heat; and storms just a few days ago in the midwest and my home state of Michigan. And we’re perched to see what hurricane season will do this year.

What would you do if you had only 5 minutes or less to evacuate your home? I hope you would first get your family to safety, and that includes your companion animals. Do not leave them behind. If you do, not only could that result in the death of your companion animal, but you may be inclined to re-enter the disaster zone to save them, thus causing a safety issue for yourself and for search and rescue workers.

So today, are you be prepared if you were given notice to evacuate immediately? If not, I urge you to listen to 2 radio interviews I did this week for All Paws Pet Talk Radio. In the first segment I discussed how to create a disaster plan for your companion animal. I then discussed how to help animals in disaster zones that are being displaced, including how to contribute to those shelters and organizations working to help search, rescue and house as many companion and livestock animals possible. Being prepared can mean the difference between life and death.

If you want to learn more about preparing for a disaster or how to help animals in a disaster (especially being trained on becoming a first responder), grab a copy of my book Defending the Defenselesss: A Guide to Protecting and Advocating for Pets because there is an entire chapter dedicated to this topic. In celebration of the one-year anniversary of the publication, I am offering the book for sale on my website this month only for only $28 (autographed and including shipping within the U.S.).

If you and your companion animal(s) escaped a disaster, please share your story and how you prepared to get to safety. And please join in on the conversations on our other social media sites by clicking on the icons below.

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