In the last thread Mel gave some great advice re our furred, feathered, and other family members:
It helps to have a kitty carrier in an easily accessible spot, and to have supplies in your emergency kit for your furry family members, as well. Single use cans of a favorite, familiar pet food (easy to carry /keep safe and fresh in case of evac), a week’s worth of any pet maintenance medicines packed in the kit, and extra bottled water with a lightweight, unbreakable, easy to pack and carry dish are essential.
The Humane Society of the U.S. has a big page of emergency/disaster prep suggestions. The very first one is “ID your pet,” and that’s exactly right. I volunteered down in New Orleans with the HSUS post-Katrina, and one of the first things I learned is that animals with IDs were highly likely to be reunited with their families, whereas animals without IDs were highly UNlikely to be so. It was heartbreaking to see animals that you just knew someone cherished and was desperately missing, but have no way of reuniting them. My dogs have always worn a collar and tag 100% of the time–even when home watching TV, because, you know, stuff happens–but since that experience I’m nuts about making sure everyone else’s dogs, cats, etc., do as well.
Loads of other great information on that page, including lists of companion animal-friendly lodgings, how to plan for helping feral cats, and advice on how to prep for when you’re stuck somewhere and can’t get back home.
Commenter Shell mentioned in the previous thread that many emergency shelters are now pet-friendly, noting how, “In the past a lot of people refused to evacuate cause they didn’t want to leave their pets behind.” Absolutely right and, as is often the case in the good ol’ U.S., there’s a shitty class aspect to this: during Katrina, wealthier people’s animal companions were often welcomed at hotels, whereas poorer people’s weren’t allowed in shelters. This was all epitomized in the famous incident where the nine-year-old boy was devastated because he couldn’t take his little dog Snowball with him on the evacuation bus. Anyhow, this all led to the Pet Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act, which mandates that states receiving federal disaster aid incorporate animal companions and service animals in their disaster planning. More info, including a list of animal-friendly shelters in each state, at this link.
Again, your ideas and suggestions welcome in the thread.