66 per cent of Americans own a pet, and when disaster strikes, most pet owners are reluctant to leave those pets behind. That’s where partnerships with local animal welfare groups can help, as they did during the 2011 Joplin, Mo., tornado, the Iowa and Memphis, Tenn., floods and other natural disasters nationally.
"Experience has shown us through disasters that people will not go to a shelter where they couldn't take their animals," said Martin White, animal control officer. "So we went in with the Red Cross to set up these little animal shelters adjacent to these human shelters."
The article has recommendations for what to be included in a disaster preparedness plan. They advise citizens to identify friends and family outside their regions who are less likely to be affected by the same disaster and ensuring that pets are properly identified. (tagged and microchipped). People should also consider having an emergency kit for their pets. The ASPCA provides workshops to citizens and local governments. Emergency managers can promote information from the agency’s site to their communities.
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