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PET EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT RESOURCES

All of the following resources are provided by Wag'N Enterprises. We work diligently to ensure all links remain up-to-date, however we cannot control how and when some of the sites we point to make changes to contents or site URLs. Please don't hesitate to contact us should you find broken links. 

Emergency Management is the discipline of dealing with and avoiding risk. The concept and terminology "pet emergency management" was developed by renowned pet safety expert Ines De Pablo in the spring of 2007. "Defining pet emergency management" is a registered trademark of Wag'N Enterprises. With her background in the field of emergency management, Ms. De Pablo determined it was time to apply her expertise to the pet world/industry. 

Pet emergency management is the application of emergency management practices in regards to pet safety. It involves mitigation measures (i.e. accident avoidance for pet owners, continuity of operations for pet businesses); preparedness (i.e. pet parents learning pet first aid skills, training of first responders in animal handling, pet businesses developing evacuation, emergency drills and continuity of operation plans, etc); response (i.e. the application of pet first aid skills, use of pet first aid equipment, organized evacuation of residences and animal shelters, etc) as well as recovery efforts.
The destructive force of 
Hurricane Katrina exposed many flaws in our nation’s emergency preparedness programs. One easily correctable issue that has come to light is that many of our city and state authorities’ disaster plans did not take into account how to rescue the portion of the population who are pet owners. Thousands of pets died, many as a result of poor planning, flawed local, state and federal policies. As a result, an amendment to the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act(42 U.S.C. 5196b) was issued. Section 613 of the Act was amended in October of 2006. This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act of 2006’’.

WAG'N ENTERPRISES PET EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT RESOURCES

EVACUATION NOTICE FORM (PDF) - NO PETS LEF BEHIND - Click HERE to download
EVACUATION NOTICE FORM (PDF) - LIVE ANIMALS LEFT BEHIND - Click HERE to download
ALL HAZARDS EMERGENCY CHECKLIST - CATS & DOGS - Click HERE to view
ALL HAZARDS EMERGENCY CHECKLIST - SMALL ANIMALS - Click HERE to view

COURSES TO TAKE - PRIORITY FOR ALL PET PARENTS 
AND INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS

- Red Cross First Aid & CPR. Click here to learn more.
- American Heart Association HeartSaver® First Aid. Click here
 to learn more 
- Pet Tech Pet First Aid. Click here to find an instructor near you.
- Red Cross Pet First Aid. Click 
here to learn more.

COURSES TO TAKE - SUPPLEMENTAL FOR PET PARENTS
American Humane - Basic Animal Emergency Services Training - If you want to become an official American Humane Red Star Animal Emergency Services™ Volunteer and help animals in the aftermath of national disasters, you must attend this two-day training. Click HERE for more information.

American Humane - Disaster Sheltering for Companion Animals - This two-day course focuses on how to plan for and implement emergency sheltering for companion animals during or after a disaster and should be considered “must-have” training for every community. Click HERE for more information. 

Wag'N Enterprises - Introduction to Pet Emergency Management™ Webinars - This workshop is designed to introduce pet parents and pet industry members in the basic concepts of emergency management and their everyday application for mitigating, preparing and responding to pet emergencies. Visit the WEBSITE to schedule your private group session.

COURSES TO TAKE - SUPPLEMENTAL FOR FIRST RESPONDERS
 -
 American Humane - Animal Rescue Training for First Responders - This course is designed to cross-train urban search and rescue teams, animal search and rescue and other first responders how to handle a situation or disaster together. Click HERE for more information.

Humane Society of the United States - Disaster Animal Response Team - This 3-day course is designed to familiarize participants with disaster situations and provide the background necessary to become an effective emergency animal relief responder. Click HERE for more information.

Rescue 3 - Technical Animal Rescue - Responding to an animal in peril is not only the humane thing to do, but it may also stop untrained persons (bystanders, owners, etc.) from endangering themselves to save an animal. This can often lead to death or injury, to both the animal and it’s untrained rescuer(s). Click HERE for more information.  

TLAER - Technical Large Animal Rescue - TLAER training participants will be taught how to safely prepare for and approach large animal incidents. Examples of incidents include overturned and wrecked trailers or livestock haulers, large animals loose on the road, large animals stuck in a swimming pool or mud, large animals tangled in farm equipment, and barn fires. This program also covers incidents where people may be trapped with the animal. Click HERE to learn more. 

COURSES TO TAKE - SUPPLEMENTAL FOR PET INDUSTRY

American Humane - Disaster Sheltering for Companion Animals - This two-day course focuses on how to plan for and implement emergency sheltering for companion animals during or after a disaster and should be considered “must-have” training for every community. Click HERE for more information.  

Humane Society of the United States - Emergency Animal Sheltering (EAS) is intended to prepare volunteers to serve at emergency shelters for pets and animals evacuated or displaced in the event of a disaster. Information covered in this course is vital for dealing with any large-scale animal sheltering operation. Click HERE for more information. 

TLAER - Technical Large Animal Rescue - TLAER training participants will be taught how to safely prepare for and approach large animal incidents. Examples of incidents include overturned and wrecked trailers or livestock haulers, large animals loose on the road, large animals stuck in a swimming pool or mud, large animals tangled in farm equipment, and barn fires. This program also covers incidents where people may be trapped with the animal. Click HERE to learn more. 

FREE FEMA ONLINE COURSES & RESOURCES
- FEMA - Independent Study Course 10a.- Animals in Disasters: Awareness and Preparedness. This course is intended to help animal owners, animal care providers, and industries to understand incident management. Click HERE to start
- FEMA - Independent Study Course 11a.- Animals in Disasters: Community Planning. Click 
HERE to start
- For a full list of online FEMA Independent Program Courses click 
HERE
- FEMA - Eligible Costs Related to Pet Evacuations and Sheltering. Click HERE to view

READY.GOV
Community Pet Preparedness Toolkit can be found on the Ready.gov website

HOW THE P.E.T.S. ACT OF 2006 AFFECT PET PARENTS

What it is: The Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards (PETS) Act amends the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to ensure that State and local emergency preparedness operational plans address the needs of individuals with household pets and service animals following a major disaster or emergency.

What it does: The PETS Act authorizes the Federal Emergency Management Agency (F.E.M.A.) to provide rescue, care, shelter, and essential needs for individuals with household pets and service animals, and to the household pets and animals themselves following a major disaster or emergency.

What is the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform (PKEMRA) Act?
To implement the PETS Act effectively, two other documents support FEMA's activities to ensure optimal preparedness and response associated with companion animals, namely the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act (PKEMRA) and the National Response Framework (NRF).

Difference between the PKEMRA and NRF
:
 The PKEMRA codifies and expands FEMA's regional office structure and strengthens its all-hazards operational framework and coordination capabilities. It expanded the federal role in emergency response by designating FEMA as the sole primary agency, and it added additional authorities and responsibilities for FEMA to, among other actions, ensure pet rescue and shelter. In an emergency wherein the federal government will assist a state, FEMA will procure support from federal partner agencies, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Health and Human Services (HHS), as well as the American Red Cross partners.

The NRF is a document that establishes a comprehensive, national, all-hazards approach to emergency response. It identifies the key response principles, roles and structures that organize national response. It describes how communities, States, the Federal Government and private-sector and nongovernmental partners apply key response principles for a coordinated and effective nationwide response.

While the PETS Act was a catalyst for implementation of preparedness plans at the state and local levels of government, it takes all three documents (PETS Act, PKEMRA, and the NRF) for a truly effective and comprehensive response.

Who uses the PETS Act as a tool? The key stakeholders in implementing the PETS Act are states and local municipalities, as well as non-profit organizations and private companies. Since the PETS Act works through reimbursing States and counties for work done in association with disaster mitigation, regulations associated with the PETS Act are pertinent to those State and local governments. In addition, since non-profit organizations and private companies (NGOs) work closely with States and municipalities to provide many necessary services, these groups must be cognizant of the details about the types of services that they could offer in order to be reimbursed by the State or local government. The reimbursement process can be streamlined by having pre-event agreements in place between these entities.

When is the PETS Act in operation? The PETS Act is operational when a federal disaster declaration has been made. The declaration serves as a "trigger" that provides for reimbursement for allowable, documented, services utilized in this emergency event.

Wag'N Enterprises Publications - The Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act of 2006: What is it? How does it impact pet owners? Click HERE to read article 

Public Law 109–308 109th Congress [H.R. 3858]: Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act of 2006. Find Act here 

CERT ANIMAL RESPONSE MODULES
The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) National Program Office announced the release of two new supplemental training modules, CERT Animal Response I and CERT Animal Response II. The new Animal Response modules are the first in a series of supplemental training modules building on the disaster response training that program participants receive in the CERT Basic Training course. The supplemental modules are designed to expand the skills of CERT members and teams, and to increase CERT’s ability to support emergency response professionals. The Animal Response modules, as well as other CERT supplemental training to be released in the future, are intended for those who have completed the basic training. 

CERT ANIMAL RESPONSE I
- CERT Animal Response Module I Instructor Guide is available in 2 formats Microsoft Word (.doc) and Adobe Acrobat (.pdf)
- CERT Animal Response Module I Participant Manual is available in 2 formats 
Microsoft Word (.doc) and Adobe Acrobat (.pdf)
- CERT Animal Response Module I PowerPoint Presentation is available in 2 formats 
Microsoft PowerPoint (.ppt) and Adobe Acrobat (.pdf)

CERT ANIMAL RESPONSE II
- CERT Animal Response Module II Instructor Guide is available in 2 formats Microsoft Word (.doc) and Adobe Acrobat (.pdf)
- CERT Animal Response Module II Participant Manual is available in 2 formats 
Microsoft Word (.doc) and Adobe Acrobat (.pdf)
- CERT Animal Response Module II PowerPoint Presentation is available in 2 formats 
Microsoft PowerPoint (.ppt) and Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


When should I get my evacuation kits ready? 
NOW. Why wait until the emergency happens? Now you can think clearly, have the time, there is no impending doom to cloud your judgment, and you can unlimited access to all sorts of resources to get the kit ready and time is on your side. You set your own criticality parameters. Action tromps reaction, every time!


In the event of an emergency evacuation due to flood, fire, hurricane, what are some plans any dog owner should have in place and prepared to go for their pet? 
All pet owners, should have a fire, carbon monoxide, flood, hurricane evacuation plan as well as a shelter in place-plan for incidents such as man made disasters and tornadoes. That seems like a lot? Your solution is an All-Hazards Emergency Plan. For your 
Dogs and Cats checklist click here, for your small and exotic animals checklist click here. For equine evacuation tips click here,hereherehere, and here

What should I do if the emergency happens while the pets are alone at home and I can't get back on time? What if we are separated? 
There is plenty you can do now. Share your evacuation plans with some of your trusted neighbors and family and friends. Make sure they are familiar with your pets, talk to them now about what you would need them to do, where your pet emergency evacuation kit is, where to meet up, how to best communicate and have a common go to location. All these tips really work best if you are really good friends with some of your neighbors, otherwise assign the task to a trusted family member that leaves close to you and that you trust of course. 
Have a Grab-and-go party at your house. Invite the friends and neighbors you trust. Its really like a Tupperware party but with a twist. Discuss the feasible, rule out the wishful thinking. Assign each person a task, discuss meeting points, individual roles and expectations; how to communicate prior, during and after the incident; emergency routes, etc. 

Other than the very detailed All-Hazards Preparedness Checklist, is there anything else I should know about how to prepare the best Wag-N-Go Bag? 
Other Your Pet Wag-N-Go Bag can be a used duffel bag or other large bag. 
Keep it somewhere where key access is not mandatory (so your neighbors can just grab it from the garage if needed). Label the bag either with permanent marker or by sowing a piece of cloth with key info (i.e. pet name, what's included, what's missing, number of days for intended use, date it was last replenished). 

The pet Wag-N-Go bag should NOT contain your most valuable personal data. It remains the pet's bag. Copies of vaccination records should be kept in the glove box of your car and one copy at the office (especially if you use public transportation to got to work).

The food included in the Wag-N-Go bag should be labeled and display information like quantity per pet per day, expiration date, and what it can be substituted with in case your friends or neighbors need to evacuate with your pets. That information is crucial whether they end up taking care of the pet or if they end up in a co-location shelter situation.

All contents and especially medications should be dated (when prescribed and when they expire), bagged (Ziploc configuration works best to protect somewhat against water damage) and tagged (to show name, dosage and use). Make copies of prescriptions so they can be replenished by your friends or yourself at alternate location. If your pet has allergies (to food or medications) make sure to indicate them on the food bag and the medication bag. 
Keep a calendar for yourself in a well traveled area of your residence and one in the bag (copy works best) showing which ingredients where added and/or update and when they expire - fastest and cheapest way to accomplish that is printing out an Outlook Calendar Monthly or Yearly Print Out and then make copies.
All other important information pertaining to what should be included in your Wag-N-Go bag is listed 
here.

What components of the evacuation kit are really critical? 
It depends. For a Fido with a pulse, air, food, water and shelter. For a Fido with a medical condition, add whatever will keep his/hers pulse going. These ensure life. The rest is comfort really. To be admitted to a shelter that accepts pets, add proof of vaccination and ownership as well a crate per pet. To avoid really bad behavior, add toys or something to keep it busy. To ensure fairly good relations with the neighbors and authorities add a leash, collar, poop bags and trash bags. Microchips help you reclaim your pet if separated, proof-of-ownership reduces paperwork and emotional stress, first aid kits keep little 'oopsy-boo' moments from turning into emergencies. The rest will really just make your survival more bearable.

Are there any shelters around these days that allow humans to bring their dogs if they must evacuate? If so, where and websites? 
YES and NO. Your local office of emergency management can better answer this question. Bear in mind that even if there is such a shelter, the conditions of the emergency may render this particular shelter unusable. For example, you find a fantastic facility. The winds are however pushing the wildfire flames straight in that direction. That shelter is now unusable for any living being. The same can be applied to any natural force such as tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes and floods. So do not rely on any one location. Plan A generally fails and you may have to resort to Plan D or E. So what should my backup plan be? While you are preparing your evacuation plan, map out your routeS (yes more than one!) and along the way locate pet friendly hotels/motels, boarding facilities and veterinary clinics who could shelter animals in an emergency. That map, should be the paper version (the type that requires no electricity to access). Make notes with a pencil. Staple information or make multiple copies (hotels, emergency rooms, camping sites, veterinarians, etc) for multiple purposes. Store in Ziploc bag to protect against water damage. Make sure a copy stays with the pet's emergency kit so that your neighbors/friends have a copy if they can take your pets with them.
 The best option is to find a friend or family member living outside the area (past 100 miles) that is willing (prearranged) to take you and your pets. Its even better to make at least two of these types of arrangements because if your first friend is in the path of the same storm they might have to evacuate themselves and will not be able to accommodate you. DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE DISASTER IS ANNOUNCED TO START THIS RESEARCH!

"Red Cross disaster shelters cannot accept pets because of states' health and safety regulations and other considerations. Service animals who assist people with disabilities are the only animals allowed in Red Cross shelters. It may be difficult, if not impossible, to find shelter for your animals in the midst of a disaster, so plan ahead."

The organization continues to adhere to this policy. It has however, since Hurricane Katrina and because of the PETS ACT of 2006 been partnering with animal relief groups who can man and provide alternate facilities for pets. There are two types of shelters: Temporary and Co-location.
In the Temporary shelter, the animals are cared for by members of an animal rescue organization (HSUS, American Humane Red Star Teams, etc) until the animals can be reunited with their owners. This type of shelter may or may not be close to human only emergency shelters. Co-location shelters are located in the immediate vicinity of the human shelter. This allows pet owners to reside in Red Cross type shelters and yet take care of their pets' daily care. Regardless of the type of shelter you may end up staying at, preparedness requirements are the same. You WILL NEED your pets veterinary records, a crate, food and proof of ownership. Having pictures of YOU AND YOUR PETS can serve as proof in many cases. Keep multiple copies. 
So, don't wait until disaster strikes to get your plan and backup plans. Its always a good idea to sign up for these local government phone alerts (emails or SMS) to stay up-to-date with local emergencies. Once an emergency is announced, keep an eye out on the local news, and local emergency management agency sites. Call them if you have any questions. To find your local emergency management agency click 
here . It does not hurt to keep that number in your cell phone and a paper copy in the glove box of your car, at your office as well as in your and your pet's evacuation kit. 
Currently, not all communities offer pet friendly emergency/evacuation shelters. TO FIND OUT IF THERE IS A PET FRIENDLY SHELTER IN YOUR AREA, CALL YOUR COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT OFFICE OR LOCAL ANIMAL SHELTER. 

How long does it take to make an evacuation kit for the family?
A: As long as you need it to. We recommend trying out 3 scenarios. 
Scenario #1: Give yourself 4 hours to get ready. Something tells me your car's tires will need to be checked for air when you are done with that one. Is all that stuff really necessary? 
Scenario #2: Give yourself 1 hour to get ready. Now we are talking. That will seriously reduce the load. 1 bag per humanoid please.
Scenario #3: Pretend you just pulled the fire alarm, grab and go. You have no more than 1 minute to take the essentials. Much lighter backpack! 
One backpack per person generally covers the essential. If you can't carry it, you probably don't really need. You can have 2 bags if you want one at the office and one at home. Additional bags can have tents and camping equipment, but still try to keep it at 1 bag. The more you train the easier and faster this becomes. Most important human documents include your passport, green card, driver's license, social security card, birth certificate, proof of medical insurance, prescriptions. Secondary is homeowner's insurance, life insurance, residence title, credit card, bank account #. For pets its vaccination records, microchip and proof of ownership as primary and medical records as secondary.

What's the most important thing about an evacuation plan and/or a shelter in place plan? 
Rehearse. Rehearse. Rehearse. A non-rehearsed plan is a terrible plan! 
Run an actual drill. If you just put your plan on paper, reality bites. See how much time it actually takes to find stuff you deem essential. Weigh the little suitcases and backpacks. Can you walk a mile? Open the bag and really look to see if you even feel the crackers hit your tummy. Drive the roads out of town during rush hour. Then find alternates. Evacuations are 'rush hour' traffic. 
Pertaining to Shelter-in-place scenarios: Lock yourself up, with your kids, grandma and the dogs in 1 room. Room needs to have no windows, shelter from flood and high wind. Imagine you will stay there for 3 days. Take care of toilet needs (what if you lose the running water?), food, water and entertainment (assume no power). Do you have such a room? Imagine government gives you 3 hours, 1 hour, 10 minutes to get to it. 
Hint: the best replacement for running water is cat litter.

How can alleviate stress during an emergency?
Have a plan. Know what to expect, where to go, who to talk to, and what to do in various emergency scenarios. Start with a kitchen fire and work your way up. If you have no plan, no direction, no tools and no skill when something bad happens you will increase your stress. No question about it. 
- Have a plan. Know it will fail. Prepare backup plans (before the emergency when all is calm)
- Think calming thoughts. 
- Keep an open mind to change - the only constant in life is change.
- Move forward - Don't dwell on what does not work. Think of what works or how you can make it work.
- Find a creative out. When you make you initial plan, include something fun like a book, boardgames, tennis ball (again something small and light that does not rely on power) so that you can have a mental escape. 
- Keep drama to a bare minimum. Once the main reliable communication venues go down, beware of rumors and those spreading them. If you are going to listen to rumors, take their validity with a grain of salt. 
- Don't focus on the problem(-). Every problem has a solution. Focus on finding solutions (+) 
- If you make a mistake, and you will, don't dwell on it. Accept it and move on. Don't get stuck thinking about it. Make it right.
- Set your priority goals ahead of time and adjust. Nothing is set in stone.
- Feeling Secure depends on many variables. However we can generalize by defining 'secure' as free from danger or risk. During and immediately following a large scale disaster there will be danger and risk, at different levels: Immediate and life threatening; pending and very likely; potential. Prepare for the worst, hope for the best. Once you have a plan you will feel more secure. Whether or not you are more secure depends on your plan and how and when you implement it. Feeling secure is a state of mind. Figure now what your personal definition is. What would it take to make you feel secure? If you answer this now, you will have your goals established when a crisis happens. 
Pets can get stressed out. A sudden change in routine, diet, smells, noises, sudden extreme mood swings (yours) and inconsistent discipline will stress you pets. You don't have to let that happen. Minimize routine changes. Walk your pet, play with your pet, comfort your pet, let your pet rest. These are the basics. The timing might change but that is not life altering. Your pet's evacuation kit should always include toys, a piece of clothing that smells like you, its regular food and treats. That brings back some routine. A game of fetch or a long walk provides a mental break  for both you and your pet.  

RELEVANT READING

* Pet Emergency Pocket Guide
* Red Cross Pet First Aid for Cats & Dogs
* Veterinary Disaster Medicine: Working Animals
* Veterinary Disaster Response
* Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue
* NIMS Incident Command System Field Guide
* The Safe Dog Handbook
* Home Emergency Pocket Guide

All the publications mentioned here above can be found on Amazon

* Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform ACT - See here

RELEVANT WEBSITES

Committee on Animal Emergency Management - Click here
FEMA - Information for Pet Owners - Click here
Ready.Gov - Community Pet Preparedness Toolkit - Click here
Technical Large Animal Rescue - Click here

Travel - Finding Pet Friendly Accommodations in the USA
* Traveling with Your Pet, 12th Edition: The AAA Petbook (Learn more here)

* Dog Lover's Companion Series (select by region 
here)
* Fido Friendly Magazine (Find it 
here)

 

 

 
 
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