Bismarck, ND -- Simple precautions by pet owners can protect family pets when flooding occurs. The North Dakota Department of Emergency Services (NDDES) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), working with the Humane Society of the United States recommend the following steps before a disaster:
- Contact a local animal shelter, humane society, veterinarian or emergency management office for information on caring for pets in an emergency.
- Find out if evacuation shelters will take pets or see if a veterinarian or boarding kennel outside the flood area will accept your pet in an emergency.
- Make sure pet vaccinations are up to date and bring the records with you. A current vaccination for kennel cough will be required to board your dog.
- If you plan on evacuating to a motel or hotel, find out if they will accept pets in an emergency.
- Make sure the pet has a properly fitted collar that includes current license and rabies tag. Consider having the pet identified through microchip technology (ask your veterinarian).
- Keep a week's emergency supply of pet food, water and other essential support items, including medications.
- Take photographs of the animal and keep pictures with important papers you plan to carry with you in an emergency.
- If a "pet sitter" is used while you are away from home, discuss disaster and evacuation plans.
Bring pets inside if flooding occurs. Never leave a pet outside or tied up during a disaster. If flooding forces you to leave home, take pets with you. Be aware that the pet's behavior may change before, during and after a disaster.
The North Dakota Board of Animal Health is in the process of establishing pet shelters. A shelter has been established at the Red River Valley Fair Grounds. Efforts are being made to establish shelters in each community with evacuees. Fargo evacuees who use bus transportation will have to leave their pets at the Red River Valley Fair Ground Shelter. Pets will be well-cared for by a veterinary management assistance team for the duration of the evacuation.
FEMA leads and supports the nation in a risk-based, comprehensive emergency management system of preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation, to reduce the loss of life and property and protect the nation from all hazards including natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters.