Animal Owner Tips For Hurricane Preparations
LABELLE, FL. -- Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles H. Bronson is temporarily suspending intrastate animal movement requirements due to the large number of animals in harm's way as Hurricane Ike approaches.
The suspension applies only to animals fleeing the affected areas. Georgia and Alabama officials are also waiving their states' interstate requirements for Florida livestock being evacuated from potential impact areas of the storm. Bronson is also urging people to plan now for their animals in the event they become in the path of Hurricane Ike or other storms. Evacuations have already been ordered in some areas of Florida.
People transporting livestock must continue to stop at the Florida agricultural interdiction stations. If the transporter doesn't have proper paperwork, a movement document will be issued at the station. The movement document must be carried as the animals are moved into Georgia or Alabama and for return back into Florida.
Bronson says citizens should not wait until the last minute to think about how they are going to deal with pets and other animals during an evacuation or in a power outage. People should not leave their pets behind when they evacuate because the animals can easily be injured, lost or killed. Owners should find out now if local boarding facilities or veterinary offices can shelter their animals in an emergency. They should also contact hotels outside their immediate area to determine which allow animals and whether there are any size restrictions.
Bronson's Division of Animal Industry website http://www.doacs.state.fl.us/ai (click on "Emergency Management") provides information about some pet-friendly hotels, pet-friendly emergency shelters, and extensive emergency preparedness information for owners of large and small animals who may be impacted by a disaster. If a family plans to go to a public shelter, they should check with county officials on the location of the nearest pet friendly shelter.
PETS AND SMALL ANIMAL SAFETY
-- Keep ID tags and vaccinations up to date.
-- When evacuating, bring proper identification and health papers with you.
-- Prepare a pet evacuation kit, including food and water for one week, a manual can opener, medications, medical/vaccination records, a pet carrier, and bedding. If evacuated, properly secure animals in the vehicle.
-- If you plan to board a pet, make written arrangements in advance.
-- Contact hotels and motels along your evacuation route to check policies on accepting pets and keep the list handy.
HORSES AND LIVESTOCK
-- Keep vaccinations and other health requirements up to date.
-- If possible, make arrangements in advance for evacuation of horses. Know where you can take your horses for shelter along your evacuation route.
-- Make sure your horse trailer is "ready to go" or other transport arrangements are prepared well in advance.
-- Carry your vaccination record, Coggins test and health papers with you as well as handling equipment.
-- Have a point of destination before departure and be sure to evacuate as soon as possible to avoid traffic delays.
IF EVACUATION IS NOT POSSIBLE:
-- Reinforce your barn, and outbuildings with hurricane straps and other measures.
-- Open gates or remove fencing so that animals may move to high ground in a flood and to low-lying areas during high winds.
-- Install a hand pump and obtain enough large containers to water your animals for at least a week.
-- Identify alternate water and power sources. A generator with a safely stored supply of fuel may be essential, especially if you have electrical equipment necessary to the well being of your animals.
-- Secure or remove anything that could become blowing debris.