In Disasters, Animals Need to Get Out – Not Tough it Out!
By Lindsay Pollard-Post
“Don’t tough it out. Get out.” That was a FEMA official’s no-nonsense warning to residents in the path of powerful Hurricane Dorian. To that, we would add, “And take your animals with you.”
Even after the painful lessons of past hurricanes, including Katrina, Harvey and Irma, vulnerable cats, dogs, rabbits, birds and other animals are still routinely left behind in evacuations. It’s a terrifying—and often deadly—situation for animals, who are even less equipped to survive a disaster than we are. That’s why it’s vital for every animal guardian to have a plan in place — long before an emergency strikes — to ensure that all members of the family make it out safely.
PETA’s Animal Rescue Team has seen firsthand the trauma that animals endure when left behind to “tough it out” amid hurricane floodwaters and flying debris. During Katrina and Harvey, they scooped stranded animals from rooftops, balconies, floating mattresses, shelves and vehicle roofs. They even found one kitten mewing desperately from a precarious perch on top of an umbrella in a flooded yard. Those were the “lucky” ones: Countless other animals drowned, trapped in crates or left chained up or penned in backyards with no escape from the rising waters.
Why were these animals — and so many others — left behind? For many, it was likely because of a lack of planning: According to a recent survey, 91% of animal guardians are not prepared for a natural disaster.
While Hurricane Dorian was relatively slow-moving, many other hurricanes and disasters such as wildfires, earthquakes and tornadoes don’t come with much, if any, warning. In the frantic scramble to gather supplies, load up the car and get on the road, animals whose guardians haven’t planned ahead are in danger of being overlooked.
Please, don’t let this happen. Start by mapping out possible evacuation routes so you have multiple options for leaving quickly with your animals. Since many emergency shelters do not allow animals, it’s vital to find out in advance where you and your animals can stay if you must leave your home. Hotel chains are a good option (many will waive their “no animals” policy during emergencies) as are campgrounds and the homes of friends and family members. Offer to return the favor if the need arises.
In an emergency, you may not have time to run around gathering up all of your animals’ necessities, so assemble an emergency kit ahead of time. Include a carrier (for small animals) and/or a leash and harness to keep animals secure and prevent them from bolting in a frightening, unfamiliar situation. Also pack bowls, towels, a favorite toy, a blanket and a week’s worth of food, bottled water and medications. Have your animals microchipped and ensure that they wear identification tags (whenever they leave home, not just in hurricanes).
If you truly have no choice but to evacuate without your animals, do not leave them tied up or confined to crates, pens or hutches. Any of these scenarios is a virtual deathtrap, as animals will have no way of escaping rising waters. Instead, give them a chance by leaving them indoors with access to upper floors. Provide at least a 10-day supply of dry food, and fill sinks, bathtubs and large containers with water for them to drink. Put signs on windows and doors indicating the number and species of animals inside, as rescue workers may be able to save them.
Our animal companions depend on us for everything — especially in the face of chaos and danger. Don’t wait for an emergency to strike. Make a plan now so if the worst does happen, you and your animal companions won’t have to tough it out. You can get out — together❤️.
From Team Beto:
Beto shook up the debate by calling for the ban and buyback of assault weapons. Now the pundits and politicians say it can’t be done. They say we shouldn’t even try.
This is exactly what’s wrong in our democracy. Some politicians pay attention to polls instead of people. Candidates make political calculations based off of fear instead of facts.
Now we face a big test. The refrain we hear from the pundits is that, by taking a courageous stand, Beto may have shot his own campaign in the foot. They think that our big ideas will sink us. We can prove them wrong right now by showing a big surge in our fundraising before our official FEC deadline. Can you make a contribution to Beto right now to say you’re proud to support a candidate who says what he believes and fights for it?
We can always count on Beto embrace the courage of his convictions. He did it in the race for Texas, and he does it now running for president.
We are doing what is right, not limiting ourselves by what people tell us is possible.
We’re not going to run scared from the NRA or anyone else.
In a time of endless triangulation, 30-second TV ads and tired one-liners, the American people are ready for courageous leadership. If you agree, we need your help today before our big FEC deadline:
Thank you for helping us prove our case today.
To contribute via check, please address to Beto for America campaign, P.O. Box 3628 El Paso, TX 79923.
Worcester City Councilor Konnie Lukes’s Swan Song?
Text and photos by Rose T.
From City Hall … the Worcester City Council agenda for tomorrow night:
❤️Request City Manager request City Solicitor provide City Council with a legal opinion regarding the process of instituting a residential rent control program and the resulting impact of implementing such a program. (Lukes)
❤️Request City Manager provide City Council with an update of all PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) programs instituted in the last ten years and are currently still in effect.
❤️Request City Manager report to City Council concerning the status of the public shade tree trust and what type of alternative program can be initiated requiring payment for the loss and replacement of public shade trees which have been lost or are dying as a result of leaking gas pipes. (Lukes)
WOW. BEAUTIFUL REQUESTS (the ❤️s are ours) PUT ON THE CITY COUNCIL AGENDA by departing City Councilor at Large Konnie Lukes!
Could Konstantina’s imminent departure from the Worcester City Council mean she is being PROACTIVE – dumped her naysayer doll pose for her final four months on the council?!
If only Konnie had displayed this kind of vision and Woo-love last year! Or the year before! This is the real Konnie Lukes Worcester voters fell in love with decades ago!
Instead, as the years rolled on Konnie got bitter … whined on the council floor about POW WOW WORCESTER murals being too depressing. She ran for mayor last election cycle just to give incumbent Joe Petty a pain in his butt. She allowed her hubby’s rental property in Green Island to make the papers – and created a new low for Worcester’s slumlords to “aspire” to! Horrific digs, Konnie!
So, of course, the city frowned …
But look! Tomorrow night! These wonderful requests by Konnie Lukes – as if she’s reading the minds of us Worcesterites and getting IN FRONT OF, AHEAD OF, these important urban issues, these BIG Worcester challenges! As if she cares passionately again!
Maybe Konnie’ll miss Woo’s voters and nonvoters. Maybe this is her swan song:
❤️Rent Control, affordable housing for the regular folks in Worcester
The colleges DON’T DO ENOUGH FOR THE CITY! Holy Cross, Assumption, WPI and Becker must ❤️step up – as Clark has – and DO MORE FOR THE PEEPS OF WORCESTER!
❤️Trees! We love them – and need them! Especially in our inner-city neighborhoods!
C’mon, Konnie! Hit a home run at City Hall – bases loaded! BRING US ALL HOME!