NEW YORK—At the request of the New York City Office of Emergency Management (OEM), animal welfare agencies in the OEM’s Animal Planning Task Force urge pet owners to develop an emergency evacuation plan to keep their families and pets safe before Hurricane Sandy makes landfall in New York City.
The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®), Animal Care & Control of NYC (AC&C), the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), and NYC Veterinary Emergency Response Team (NYC VERT) are reminding pet owners that all evacuation shelters are pet friendly. Several evacuation shelters opened their doors this afternoon, and pet owners should check the OEM's Hurricane Evacuation Zone Finder to locate the nearest evacuation zone, and the system will direct pet owners to the proper facility. The public can also obtain this information by calling 311.
“The best thing you can do for you and your pet is to plan ahead before Hurricane Sandy makes landfall,” said Dr. Dick Green, director of Disaster Response for the ASPCA. “Don’t wait until the last minute to see if the storm will affect your neighborhood. Act now, find your nearest evacuation shelter, and tune in to your local news to monitor the storm’s condition. And remember, all of the City’s evacuation shelters for humans are pet friendly, so please take your pets with you if you need to evacuate.”
The Animal Planning Task Force offers the following tips on disaster preparedness:
- Always bring pets indoors at the first sign or warning of a storm or disaster.
- Make sure all pets wear collars and ID tags with up-to-date identification. Micro-chip your pet as a more permanent form of identification.
- Keep a pet emergency kit and supplies handy with items such as medical records, water, pet food and medications, and pet first aid supplies. Take this with you if you evacuate.
- Arrange a safe haven for your pets in the event of evacuation. Do not leave your pets behind.
- Choose a designated caregiver who can take care of your pet in the event you are unable.
Low-lying areas of the city that are most at risk for flooding and other damage and are designated as “Zone A” low-lying areas in the Coastal Storm Plan include: Coney Island and Manhattan Beach in Brooklyn; Far Rockaway and Broad Channel in Queens; South Beach; Midland Beach; low-lying areas on Staten Island; and Battery Park City in Manhattan. For details and updates, please visit the OEM’s website at www.NYC.gov/oem, or call 311 to find an evacuation center.
New York City's Office of Emergency Management created the Animal Planning Task Force to develop plans for disasters — both natural and otherwise. The task force includes representatives from the ASPCA, the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals, AC&C, HSUS, NYC VERT, the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, NYC Department of Parks & Recreation, American Red Cross in Greater New York, Bideawee, Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and Veterinary Medical Assistance Team One.
These agencies have also committed resources that include animal sheltering, veterinary support, search and rescue, supplies, staff, volunteers, and transport to provide aid in the days ahead.