Mississippi State Department of Health

Pets and Disasters

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Make arrangements for your pets as part of your household disaster planning. If you must evacuate your home, it's always best to take your pets with you.

For health and space reasons, pets are allowed only in selected public emergency shelters. Plan ahead to ensure the best care for your pets.

Before a disaster or emergency

Contact your local animal shelter, humane society, veterinarian or emergency management office for information on caring for pets in an emergency. Find out if there will be any shelters set-up to take pets in an emergency. Also, see if your veterinarian will accept your pet in an emergency.

Decide on safe locations in your house where you could leave your pet in an emergency.

Buy a pet carrier that allows your pet to stand up and turn around inside.

If your pet is on medication or a special diet, find out from your veterinarian what you should do in case you have to leave it alone for several days.

When assembling emergency supplies for the household, include items for pets.

Trained Guide Dogs

In most states, trained guide dogs for the blind, hearing impaired or handicapped will be allowed to stay in emergency shelters with their owners. Check with local emergency management officials for more information.

During an emergency

Bring your pets inside immediately. Animals have instincts about severe weather changes and will often isolate themselves if they are afraid. Bringing them inside early can stop them from running away. Never leave a pet outside or tied up during a storm.

If you evacuate and have to leave your pet at home, prepare a safe location for it:

After an emergency

If after a disaster you have to leave town, take your pets with you. Pets are unlikely to survive on their own.

In the first few days after the disaster, leash your pets when they go outside. Always maintain close contact. Familiar scents and landmarks may be altered and your pet may become confused and lost.

Also, snakes and other dangerous animals may be brought into the area with flood water. Downed power lines are a hazard. The behavior of your pets may change after an emergency. Normally quiet and friendly pets may become aggressive or defensive. Watch animals closely. Leash dogs and place them in a fenced yard with access to shelter and water.



Links referenced

Find this page at http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/index.cfm/index.cfm

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