Disasters can take many forms –
hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, fires, hazardous materials
It is recognized that any emergency situation that threatens humans also threatens both domestic and wild animals. It may be necessary to provide water, shelter, food, and medical treatment for pets, livestock, and wildlife affected during an emergency situation.
During Hurricane Katrina, thousands of animals were stranded and abandoned. In response to the public outrage, President Bush signed into effect on October 6, 2006 the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards (PETS) Act. The PETS Act:
- requires the inclusion of companion animals in disaster planning at the state and local levels;
- that local and state emergency preparedness authorities include plans for pet and service animals in their disaster plans in order to qualify for grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA);
- grants FEMA the authority to assist states and local communities in developing disaster plans to accommodate people with pets and service animals;
- authorizes federal funds to help create pet-friendly emergency shelter facilities; and
- allows FEMA to provide assistance to individuals with pets and service animals, and the animals themselves, following a major disaster.
Governor Perry followed with the passage of Texas H.B. 88 on June 15, 2007, which requires that companion animals and service animals be included in Texas County evacuation plans in the event of natural disasters.
Brazos County Planning
Brazos County Emergency Management, in recognizing the need for the inclusion of animals in our local Interjurisdictional Emergency Management Plan, has created an Animals Issues Committee with small and large animal components.
The committee is made up of individuals from our community with varied backgrounds, experience, skills, and interests that are related to the care and/or welfare of companion animals, livestock, or wildlife. The committee provides input to city and county elected officials and emergency management personnel about non-disease and disease topics.
Local Animal Issues Committees
Websites with Information on Animals and Disasters
- AHA - Animal Emergency Services from American Humane
- ASPCA - Disaster Preparedness from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
- AVMA - American Veterinarian Medical Association
- AVMA Disaster Preparedness and Response Guide - Download or order "Saving the Whole Family: a disaster preparedness booklet for animal owners" for information on disaster preparedness for dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, small mammals, horses, and livestock.
- EARS - United Animal Nations Emergency Animal Rescue Service
- Select Disaster Preparedness - for animal-specific information:
- List for Dogs
- List for Cats
- List for Horses
- List of Reptiles and Amphibians
- FEMA - Caring for Animals from the Federal Emergency Management Agency
- HSUS - Disaster Preparedness Resources from the Humane Society of the United States
- Disaster Preparedness Resources - download the following brochures:
- Disaster Preparedness for Pets
- Disaster Preparedness for Horses
- Disaster Preparedness for Livestock