Returning Home after Evacuation for Natural Disaster

This is an excellent article from PetMD 

By Aly Semigran    

 

The relentless one-two punch of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma forced millions of Americans and their pets to evacuate. 

 

Though Harvey has passed and Irma is tapering off, the recovery is just beginning. As conditions allow, families are returning to their homes, many with their cats and dogs by their side. 

 

Hurricane prepardeness is of utmost importance for people and their pets, but post-hurricane safety is another thing entirely, and it’s too often overlooked. 

 

In the wake of these major storms, the American Veterinary Medical Association has released a safety checklist for pet parents who are returning to potentially dangerous or stressful environments. 

 

When returning home with pets following a disaster, the AVMA recommends the following:

  • Survey the area inside and outside your home to identify sharp objects, dangerous materials, dangerous wildlife, contaminated water, downed power lines, or other hazards.
  • Do not allow pets to roam free outdoors until the area is safe for them to do so. They could encounter dangerous wildlife and debris if allowed outside unsupervised and unrestrained. In addition, familiar scents and landmarks may have changed, and this can confuse your pets.
  • Allow uninterrupted rest and sleep to allow your pets to recover from the trauma and stress of the evacuation and disaster.
  • The disruption of routine activities can be the biggest cause of stress for your pets, so try to re-establish a normal schedule as quickly as you can.
  • Comfort each other. The simple act of petting and snuggling can reduce anxiety for both people and pets.
  • If you notice any signs of stress, discomfort, or illness in your pets, contact your veterinarian to schedule a checkup.

 Read the rest of the article here