ASPCA, Pet Parents Prepare for Hurricane Irene

Friday, August 26, 2011 - 11:00am

As Hurricane Irene threatens a large swath of land along the Eastern Seaboard, the ASPCA is deploying emergency responders to help rescue and shelter animals displaced by the storm. Members of our Field Investigations and Response Team are working closely with the New York City Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and the OEM’s Animal Planning Task Force to assist with the city’s disaster relief efforts.

The ASPCA encourages pet parents to develop an emergency plan in advance of the storm, and include potential evacuation in that plan. “Disasters threaten the safety of people and animals alike, and it’s often too late to create a plan for your pets when you’re in the middle of a crisis,” says Tim Rickey, Senior Director of the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response Team. For families who must leave their homes, evacuation centers and emergency shelters in New York City will be pet friendly, and people are encouraged to evacuate with their pets. Please call 311 to find an evacuation center. All NYC taxis are required to take animals.

UPDATE: Download a PDF of the NYC Hurricane Evacuation Map.

The ASPCA offers the following tips:

  • Bring pets indoors at the first sign of the storm. Animals can become disoriented and wander away from home during a disaster.
  • Arrange a safe haven for yourself and your pets in the event of evacuation. Do not leave pets behind.
  • Store an emergency kit—with items such as pet food, bottled water, medical records, a blanket, a flashlight and leashes—as close to an exit as possible.
  • Make sure all pets wear collars and tags with up-to-date identification.
  • Affix a rescue alert sticker to your front door or window to let rescuers know that there are pets inside your home.
  • Choose a designated caregiver to take care of your pet in the event you are unable to do so.

For more information on how to keep yourself and your pet safe in the event of an emergency, please read our complete list of Disaster Readiness tips. Stay tuned to for the latest on this developing story.