Severe weather and the threat of tornadoes is scary enough for humans, but imagine the impact it has on helpless house pets or livestock. As we prepare for thunderstorms and possible tornadoes this severe weather season, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) reminds everyone to take precautionary steps to safeguard your beloved animals in the unfortunate event of disaster.
"Most importantly, save yourself but don’t leave your pets behind," says Dr. Robert Ehlenfeldt, DATCP’s State Veterinarian. "Pets are unlikely to survive by themselves if left alone, so if you must evacuate your home take them with you if it is safe to do so." Livestock, on the other hand, isn’t easily transportable, however, so do the best you can to safeguard them from dangers if you are forced to leave them behind, he says.
Following some simple steps can ensure that you don’t put your animals in danger. The first step is to plan for an emergency before the emergency happens.
“Prepare for your animals just as you would prepare for yourself,” Ehlenfeldt says. He advises preassembling an evacuation kit for your pet(s) including, at a minimum, enough pet food and supplies for at least 7 days and storing it in a place where you will have quick access to it. Similarly, make sure you provide enough feed and water for your livestock to last several days and give them a safe place to shelter through the storm.
Besides a pet evacuation kit, Ehlenfeldt recommends taking other steps to minimize the impact of a disaster on your pet’s well-being.
Prior to and during a possible severe weather emergency:
When you are able to return home, you will be more than ready to give your animal the run of the house, but be careful. After a severe weather emergency:
Safeguarding Pets & Livestock During a Severe Weather Emergency (PDF)
For additional information, please visit www.avma.org to download a free brochure entitled “Saving the Whole Family” or visit www.fema.gov. You can also learn more at www.datcp.wi.gov , on Facebook (www.facebook.com/widatcp) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/widatcp) as well.
Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association 2801 Crossroads Drive, Suite 1200 | Madison, WI 53718 | Phone: (608) 257-3665 | Fax: (608) 257-8989
Contact Us | Site Map | Disclaimer