Disaster Planning for You and Your Pet
No matter where you live, the unexpected can happen. Disasters come in all forms, from wildfires to tornadoes, hurricanes, terrorist attacks or floods. Everyone should have an emergency action plan for when the situation calls for it, and if you have pets, your plan needs to include them. It’s recommended that Brevard County residents plan ahead to care for animals if disaster strikes, especially for those living or working in flood or evacuation zones.
Take Them With You!
More than 60% of American households include a pet, and getting through a disaster means including them in your plans. Be prepared to take your pets with you if evacuation orders are issued. If it’s not safe for you, it’s not safe for them. If you are ordered to seek shelter without evacuation, always bring your pets inside.
For more information on evacuating with your pets Brevard County Pet Preparedness.
To find current Brevard County emergency pet friendly shelter locations, click here.
The National Hurricane Center’s Recommendations for a Pet Plan Are:
Before the Disaster
- Make sure that your pets are current on their vaccinations. Pet shelters usually require proof of vaccines.
- Have a current photograph
- Keep a collar with identification on your pet and have a leash on hand to control your pet.
- Have a properly-sized pet carrier for each animal – carriers should be large enough for the animal to stand and turn around.
- Plan your evacuation strategy and don’t forget your pet! Specialized pet shelters, animal control shelters, veterinary clinics and friends and relatives out of harm’s way are ALL potential refuges for your pet during a disaster.
- If you plan to shelter your pet – work it into your evacuation route planning.
During the Disaster
- Animals brought to a pet shelter are required to have: Proper identification collar and vaccines tag, proper identification on all belongings, a carrier or cage, a leash, an ample supply of food, water and food bowls, any necessary medications, specific care instructions and news papers or trash bags for clean-up.
- Bring pets indoor well in advance of a storm – reassure them and remain calm.
- Pet shelters will be filled on first come, first served basis. Call ahead and determine availability.
After the Disaster
- Walk pets on a leash until they become re-oriented to their home – often familiar scents and landmarks may be altered and pets could easily be confused and become lost. Also, downed power lines, reptiles brought in with high water and debris can all pose a threat for animals after a disaster.
- If pets cannot be found after a disaster, contact the local animal control office to find out where lost animals can be recovered. Bring along a picture of your pet if possible
- After a disaster, animals can become aggressive or defensive – monitor their behavior.
County Animal Shelters
Call the following numbers for information concerning pet sheltering during a disaster:
Brevard County Animal Services and Enforcement: (321) 633-2024
North Area Animal Center: Titusville – (321) 264-5119
South Area Care Center: Melbourne – (321) 259-0601
Find a Pet Friendly Hotel: Pet Friendly Hotels