Pet preparedness

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When a disaster occurs, your pets will be affected! Here are some tips about what to consider.

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Pet preparedness

  1. 1. PETPREPAREDNESS Judy L. Harmon, CEM Pierce County Dept of Emergency Management
  2. 2. Picture This …..  A natural gas leak forces a neighborhood evacuation.  You’re told to go to the nearest fire station  You must leave by foot  By the way….it’s November  Oh, it’s also 9:30 at night What do you need to consider????Pierce County Dept of Emergency Management 2
  3. 3. Considerations  How far would you have to walk?  What precautions should be taken for weather?  What would you take with you – how heavy is it and how easy to move?  How long might you be out of your house?  What backup plan for housing?  What about your PETS?Pierce County Dept of Emergency Management 3
  4. 4. Now Picture This….  It’s 10:54 in the morning  It’s a Wednesday  A 6.8 earthquake occurs  Reports of structural damage on radioPierce County Dept of Emergency Management 4
  5. 5. More Considerations  Where would you be?  How would you get home?  Does anyone in your neighborhood know your pets?  If you had to leave your home, where would your pets go?  Do you have supplies for your pets?Pierce County Dept of Emergency Management 5
  6. 6. Today’s Objectives  Define “Pet” for this session  Evaluate the owner/pet bond  Identify and mitigate 5 risks to your pet(s)  List 5 elements of a pet preparedness plan  Describe your response and your pet’s  Identify 5 components of recovery  Choose 2 Action Steps for the next weekPierce County Dept of Emergency Management 6
  7. 7. Reasons for Pet Ownership  “Pets” – Household / Not Livestock  Personal pleasure and companionship  Educational experience for children  Replacement of persons in their lives  Personal and property protection  Rescue of an animal from neglect  Assistance for physical, mental limitations Studies show more than 60% of pet owners consider pets to be very or extremely important to their families.Pierce County Dept of Emergency Management 7
  8. 8. Pets: A Significant Concern? Percent of US Households Owning a Pet 58.9% Dogs (1.69 per household) 31.6% Cats (2.19 per household) 27.3% Birds (2.74 per household) 4.6% Other Pets 10.7% Source: U.S. Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook, Center for Information Management, American Veterinary Medical Association. Schaumburg, IL. 1997.Pierce County Dept of Emergency Management 8
  9. 9. Concerns During a Disaster  Spoilage of human food and water supply  Animal bites  Transmittal of diseases between animals and humans  Mental health issues including:  Feelings of guilt  Bereavement, and  AngerPierce County Dept of Emergency Management 9
  10. 10. Owner / Pet Bond  Some more concerned for pets than themselves  Fail to evacuate  Attempt to re-enter  Attempt unsafe rescues  Others may not care About 50% of households may be affected!Pierce County Dept of Emergency Management 10
  11. 11. FACTS  You can’t take care of your pet(s) if you’re unprepared or injured in a failed rescue attempt. YOUR SAFETY IS PRIORITY.  Care for animals may facilitate personal safety and care of others with pets.Pierce County Dept of Emergency Management 11
  12. 12. IDENTIFYING RISKS  Meteorological (Weather / Geological)  Most common  Impact localized or widespread  Predictable or unpredictable  May have long-term impacts  Technological (Man-Made)  Human error  Consequences of natural disasters  TerrorismPierce County Dept of Emergency Management 12
  13. 13. 10 Most Recent Presidentially-Declared Disasters in Pierce County, WA  January 1990: Storms and Floods  November 1990: Storms and Floods  December 1990: Storms, Winds and Floods  January 1993: "Inauguration Day" Storm  August 1994: Economic Disaster (Fishing Industry)  November/December 1995: Floods and Wind  February 1996: Floods  December 1996/February 1997: Ice Storm and Floods  March 1997: Floods  February 2001: Nisqually Earthquake  October 2002: Storm and FloodPierce County Dept of Emergency Management 13
  14. 14. Mitigation: Defined  Preventing an emergency  Reducing the likelihood of an emergency  Reducing the damaging effects of unavoidable hazardsPierce County Dept of Emergency Management 14
  15. 15. Mitigation: Weather Risks  Thunderstorms  Lightning  Winds  Flooding  Winter Storms  Drought  Extreme Heat  WildfiresPierce County Dept of Emergency Management 15
  16. 16. Mitigation: Geological Risks  Landslides / Mudflows  Earthquakes  Tsunamis  VolcanoPierce County Dept of Emergency Management 16
  17. 17. Mitigation: Technological Risks  Hazardous Materials  Resulting consequences of natural disaster  TerrorismPierce County Dept of Emergency Management 17
  18. 18. It can’t happen to me ….  Disasters are not just major events  Individual family disasters more common:  150,000 household fires  10,000 violent thunderstorms  5,000 floods  800 tornadoes  Many forest fires  Several hurricanes and earthquakes ANNUALLYPierce County Dept of Emergency Management 18
  19. 19. 5 Preparedness Elements  Develop an emergency plan  Prepare your own disaster kit  Prepare a disaster kit for each pet  Establish pet identification  Practice the emergency planPierce County Dept of Emergency Management 19
  20. 20. Prepare: An Emergency Plan  Imagine types of disasters that may occur  Develop general family plan  Decide on meeting place for family  Establish Pet Emergency Contact List  Decide on how pet will be cared for  Keep pet vaccinations currentPierce County Dept of Emergency Management 20
  21. 21. Prepare: An Emergency Plan Emergency Contact List  Pet Sitters, Kennels, Veterinarians  Local shelters (50 mile radius)  Boarding Facilities/Shelters (100 mile radius)  Neighbors (2 or more – a neighborhood plan!)  Friend or person who knows your pets  Out of state contact (share with others)  List of pet stores, feed stores, groomers  Local animal rescue groups  List of animal behavior consultants or trainers  Other non-profit animal rescue groups  Pet-Friendly Hotels/MotelsPierce County Dept of Emergency Management 21
  22. 22. Prepare: An Emergency Plan How will pet be cared for?  Pets – will they be allowed in public shelters  Local animal shelter/humane society plans  Special shelters may be established  May be able to take to hotel or motel  Trusted neighbor or family may assistPierce County Dept of Emergency Management 22
  23. 23. Prepare: Your Disaster Kit  Your safety is PRIORITY  Only once you’re taken care of, can you be effective caring for others (including your pets)  Duplicate supplies may be shared with pet Waiting in the car while family registers at shelter (water, first aid kit) – others cannot be sharedPierce County Dept of Emergency Management 23
  24. 24. Prepare: Pet Disaster Kit  Suggested list included in handout packet  One for each pet based on needs  Do not store in kitchen or garage  Store in rodent- and ant-proof containers  Check twice yearly (when clocks change)  Rotate all foods, water, medicationsPierce County Dept of Emergency Management 24
  25. 25. Prepare: Pet Disaster Kit Special Considerations for Birds:  Dietary supplements  Plant mister for hot weather  Hot packs for cold weather  Paper towels for bottom of cage  Cage perch and toys  Towel to cover cage to calm bird, othersPierce County Dept of Emergency Management 25
  26. 26. Prepare: Pet Disaster Kit Special Considerations for Amphibians:  Use water-tight plastic containers – sand the holes to prevent injury  Semiaquatics: tiny amount of water, moss, moistened paper towels, foam rubber  Monitor air and water temperature  Avoid loud noises, vibrations  Plan for escapes !Pierce County Dept of Emergency Management 26
  27. 27. Prepare: Pet Disaster Kit Special Considerations for Reptiles:  Use pillowcases for transport if needed  Transfer to secure cage  Dietary supplements  Water bowl for soaking, mister, hot pad  Battery-operated heat lamp or other source  Appropriate handling gloves / suppliesPierce County Dept of Emergency Management 27
  28. 28. Prepare: Pet Disaster Kit Special Considerations for Small Mammals (ferrets, hamsters, gerbils, mice):  Use cage for transport and to reduce stress  Dietary supplements  Extra bedding materials  Appropriate exercise equipmentPierce County Dept of Emergency Management 28
  29. 29. Prepare: Pet Identification Unfamiliar sounds, smells, sights cause confusion  Tags – with name, address, phone  Licensure and rabies tags  Consider out-of-state contact  Veterinary contact information  Microchips, Tattoos, Leg Bands  Current photographsPierce County Dept of Emergency Management 29
  30. 30. Prepare: Practice the Plan My “Dusty”  Obedience train  Basic commands: Come, Sit, Stay  Bark / Quiet commands  Eliminate on command  Familiarize to Cage/Crate/Kennel/Leash  Application of muzzle / booties for pads  Use of syringe/droppersPierce County Dept of Emergency Management 30
  31. 31. Prepare: Practice the Plan  Pet First Aid Training  Formal classes available  Pet First Aid Books  Practice when pet feels good  Discuss emergency medications with vet Remember: Veterinarians may not be immediately accessible after a disasterPierce County Dept of Emergency Management 31
  32. 32. Response to an Incident  Stay calm; assess the situation.  Never put yourself or others at risk.  Secure your pets immediately.  Listen to the Emergency Alert System.  Follow guidelines identified for pets.  If pet injured, provide basic care, and seek veterinary assistance when available.Pierce County Dept of Emergency Management 32
  33. 33. Response to an Incident  Take your animals if evacuating.  If unable to take, secure in a safe room with food and water  Post signs clearly for rescuers to know what they will encounter and who to contact to care for the petsPierce County Dept of Emergency Management 33
  34. 34. Response: Pet Behavior  Most animals will panic, some will turn to you for security.  Toileting, eating, and other habits will sometimes change for the worse  Obsessive chewing, licking, panting, or excessive shedding can be symptoms of high stress.Pierce County Dept of Emergency Management 34
  35. 35. Response: Pet Behavior CATS:  Normal for cats to disappear. Usually will hide nearby or in favorite hiding places.  In earthquake may disappear for 24 to 72 hours.  If stranded, may cry incessantly and lose voice.  Most often visible at dusk or early morning.  Litter box problems normal.  May not want to eat due to stress.  May be aggressive and bite or scratch.  Often will try to escape.Pierce County Dept of Emergency Management 35
  36. 36. Response: Pet Behavior DOGS:  Will not usually hide.  Will usually run blindly out of home territory.  May be hit by a vehicle and killed or severely injured.  Pad injuries will be common.Pierce County Dept of Emergency Management 36
  37. 37. 5 Elements of Recovery  Initiating Clean-up  Establishing New Pet Environment  Finding Lost Pets  Post-Disaster Problems  Caring for YourselfPierce County Dept of Emergency Management 37
  38. 38. Recovery: Clean-Up  Keep pets secured – leashes / cages  Have damage assessed by insurance  Remove debris that could cause injury  Discard edible debris securely  Check for gas leaks – allow air circulation  Dry out the area if necessaryPierce County Dept of Emergency Management 38
  39. 39. Recovery: New Environment  Pets may be anxious – disoriented  Watch for other signs of stress  Introduce pets to new environment  Secure perimeters before releasing pet  Establish schedule for feeding / exercise  Allow pet to sleepPierce County Dept of Emergency Management 39
  40. 40. Recovery: Finding a Pet  Post “LOST” signs:  Photos, Contact info  Description, any unusual characteristics  Date last seen, Location last seen  Best way to approach the pet  Use local networks for listing lost pet  Physically check animal control and shelters DAILY  Notify local veterinarians and neighborsPierce County Dept of Emergency Management 40
  41. 41. Recovery: Post-Disaster Problems  Finding deceased pets  Dogs running in packs  Feral cats  Increase in fleas, mosquitoes, heartworm  Exhaustion  Bereavement (yours and other pets)Pierce County Dept of Emergency Management 41
  42. 42. Recovery: Caring for Yourself  Share your experiences  Talk with friends and family  If pet is deceased, allow yourself to grieve  Consider seeking professional counseling  Be open to rescuing another pet  Restock your personal disaster kitsPierce County Dept of Emergency Management 42
  43. 43. ACTION STEPS Personal Accountability  Identify 2 Action Steps to take within the next week: 1. __________________________________ 2. __________________________________Pierce County Dept of Emergency Management 43
  44. 44. Thank you for:  your time today  your commitment to personal preparedness  your commitment to your neighborhoods  your willingness to be prepared for pets!! Judy L. Harmon, CEM jharmon@co.pierce.wa.us 253-798-2108 (and Dusty !!)Pierce County Dept of Emergency Management 44

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