Sample Community Information Sheet
Disaster Preparedness Manual
Melissa J. Nixon, DVM

Meet Us At The Roadblock!

1.  Be sure that your driver's license shows your current street address. If it does not, go to the DMV and get an address card to carry with your license. Alternatively, you can carry a utility bill that shows your name and the residential address. If your animals are boarded someplace other than your residence, there is currently no way for you to gain access to the area during a disaster.

2.  You must have a pet carrier, leash or halter/lead, litter pan, food and water bowls, medications, medical records, identification papers, a supply of food and some bottled water, etc., for each animal. Always keep them together in an easily reached place. Include photos of yourself with each animal to aid in identification later should you get separated.

3.  Train your animals to tie, lead, and load into car, trailer, or carrier. Be sure they feel comfortable sleeping in the carrier.

4.  Each animal needs ID. Collar tags, microchips, spray paint or livestock crayon on their butt - you cannot possibly have too much identification on your animal!

5.  If the disaster is a wildfire and you have good defensible space, consider keeping the livestock at home in a safe zone, rather than attempting to evacuate. You can ask your local department of forestry to advise you on the specifics of defensible space for livestock. If you are in a flood zone, perhaps you can incorporate an area high enough and accessible enough for the large animals to wait out the storm. Be sure to leave them a two-week supply of feed and water - some large animals survived the storm surge only to die of thirst while surrounded by salt water in 2005 hurricanes. Take small animals with you; evacuate early enough so that you do not have to leave them behind.

6.  Never leave large animals locked in a barn or small animals locked in a home when fire or flood is approaching. If you cannot take them with you, at least give them a chance at survival rather than leaving them trapped. Always close the doors; animals will run back into a building that is familiar but not necessarily safe. If circumstances dictate that you leave animals in a building, spray paint a message to rescuers giving the number of animals and what species are confined inside.

7.  Never believe that someone will come to your premises and save your animals. Your friends cannot get past the road block, your neighbors have their own animals to save as well. There is not time for our crews to circulate through every neighborhood. If you can get your own animals to the nearest roadblock, even if you walk them out, we can usually meet you there with transport to shelter. The more animals in your care, the further ahead you should plan to evacuate them.

8.  Listen to the local radio station for emergency broadcasts. We may have the radio repeat instructions regarding evacuation sites, locations of roadblocks, and a phone number to call for help. You can also monitor the local county OES website and local TV stations. In some areas, you can sign up for a service that will send a text message to your cell phone during emergencies.

9.  If at all possible you should plan for yourself and your animals to shelter with friends or family outside of the disaster zone. Red Cross does not allow pets in their shelters. We work to have animal shelters next to human shelters, but that is not always possible. We will do our best to care for your animal and return it to your care at the end of the emergency if you end up in a public shelter. If you have a service animal, ADA law and Red Cross policy support keeping that animal with you during evacuation and sheltering. However, you should keep the official paperwork documenting service animal status available to show to officials during the disaster.

Animal Name:______________________

Microchip brand/number:_______________

Animal Name:______________________

Microchip brand/number:_______________

Speaker Information
(click the speaker's name to view other papers and abstracts submitted by this speaker)

Melissa J. Nixon, DVM

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