Thursday, April 18, 2024
animal rescuedisaster responseemergency preparedness for petshealth and safety

Emergency Preparedness For You and Your Pets

cat in pet carrier
Peaches is ready.

June 1 marks the beginning of the Atlantic hurricane season and we’ve already had tornadoes and violent weather this year, not to mention industrial accidents for which evacuations were necessary. Winter holds its own challenges with snow and ice that can disrupt power and trap us in our homes in freezing weather. We can’t be prepared for every conceivable emergency, but we can, and should, have general preparations made for emergencies and evacuations that include our animal companions. I’ve written an article about this for the June Pittsburgh PetConnections Magazine with information that concerns people far outside of the Pittsburgh area.

Western Pennsylvania is actually quite calm weatherwise, and for that I’ve always been glad. We’ve felt the aftereffects of hurricanes, and tornadoes only seemed to roar through to the west and just north of us, blizzards rolling across the midwest hit the mountains first and do damage but were a little tamer by the time they reached here. But nearly ten years ago the aftereffects of Hurricane Ivan brought a devastating flash flood that happened during the work day and many residents couldn’t reach their houses until the next day. Our local emergency shelter allowed evacuating residents to bring pets, but in 2004 this was not standard practice, just local officials who were pet-friendly. Cleanup and restoration for residents and nearly every business on Main Street took months. And in the decade since weather events have become more violent and unpredictable, even here in the quiet Ohio Valley. I have learned to be prepared, and as my household of cats has changed, I’ve changed my preparations to suit their needs.

Here is an excerpt of my article for this month’s issue of Pittsburgh PetConnections Magazine with a link to the rest of the article. And I’m excited to add that the photos and stories in the article showing people and pets after Hurricane Sandy were made available through PetSmart Charities, who I met recently at BlogPaws.

Weather emergencies, transportation and industrial accidents and emergencies involving our own health and welfare all affect our animal companions’ safety, sometimes necessitating the evacuation of an entire household or handing their care over to someone else. As responsible animal caretakers we need to be prepared for as many circumstances as possible.


June is the beginning of the Atlantic hurricane season, an ideal time to think about the effects of a hurricane whether we live in the direct path of a hurricane or far away – and Western Pennsylvania is not immune to a hurricane’s effects.

In 2004 Hurricane Ivan hit Pittsburgh communities with a flood that some are still recovering from nearly ten years later, only one of a number of devastating hurricane-induced floods in our region’s history with its geographic propensity for flash-flooding. Summer is also the time for unpredictable and devastating tornadoes across the south and Midwest, and a few have even surprisingly visited our hilly area as well as summer storms that turn to microbursts of destructive energy.

Click here to read the rest on the Pittsburgh PetConnections website.

Help the animal tornado survivors in Oklahoma, and animals all over the world after natural disasters through World Vets.


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From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, factual articles and fictional stories, "The Creative Cat" offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

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