Because of its proximity to Halloween, some are calling Hurricane Sandy “Frankenstorm,” but for those in its path, the storm is no joke. Pet owners are advised to take special precautions, which include the following:
- Always bring pets indoors at the first sign or warning of a storm or disaster.
- Make sure all pets wear collars and ID tags with up-to-date identification. Micro-chip your pet as a more permanent form of identification.
- Keep a pet emergency kit and supplies handy with items such as medical records, water, pet food and medications, and pet first aid supplies. Take this with you if you evacuate.
- Arrange a safe haven for your pets in the event of evacuation. Do not leave your pets behind.
- Choose a designated caregiver who can take care of your pet in the event you are unable.
Here in New York, the New York City Office of Emergency Management (OEM) has teamed with the ASPCA, the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, The Humane Society of the United States, and other local rescue organizations to remind pet owners to develop an emergency evacuation plan to keep their families and pets safe before Hurricane Sandy makes landfall in New York City.
Those heading to evacuation shelters, several of which have opened their doors, are reminded that these shelters are pet friendly. Check the OEM’s Hurricane Evacuation Zone Finder to locate the nearest evacuation zone, and the system will direct pet owners to the proper facility. The public can also obtain this information by calling 311.
Dick Green, director of Disaster Response for the ASPCA, advises:
The best thing you can do for you and your pet is to plan ahead before Hurricane Sandy makes landfall. Don’t wait until the last minute to see if the storm will affect your neighborhood. Act now, find your nearest evacuation shelter, and tune in to your local news to monitor the storm’s condition….
Low-lying areas of the city that are most at risk for flooding and other damage and are designated as “Zone A” low-lying areas in the Coastal Storm Plan include: Coney Island and Manhattan Beach in Brooklyn; Far Rockaway and Broad Channel in Queens; South Beach; Midland Beach; low-lying areas on Staten Island; and Battery Park City in Manhattan. For details and updates, please visit the OEM’s website at www.NYC.gov/oem, or call 311 to find an evacuation center.
For more information on disaster preparedness and safety tips from the ASPCA, please visit http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/disaster-preparedness/. For updates on the impact of Hurricane Sandy on the animals in New York City, please visit http://blog.aspca.org/content/how-prepare-your-pets-hurricane-sandy.
Follow me on Twitter or join me at Facebook. You can also reach me at email@example.com.