ASPCA Urges Pet Owners to Include Animals in Preparedness Plans as Historic Hurricane Henri Approaches the Northeastern United States

More than 42 million residents at risk as hurricane level storm surges have not impacted the Northeast in over 35 years
August 21, 2021

NEW YORK, NY – As Hurricane Henri threatens more than 42 million residents in the northeastern region of the country, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is providing expert tips on keeping animals safe during a disaster and urging residents in the pathway of the storm to include pets in their evacuation plans. With one in five households acquiring a pet since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, there is an increased need for people to incorporate their new pets into their existing disaster preparedness plans.

Hurricane Henri has been upgraded from a tropical storm and is now predicted to make landfall as a category one hurricane tomorrow afternoon, impacting much of New York state and the New England area with wind gusts likely to reach 100 miles per hour. This storm is the first of its kind to directly hit the Northeast in over 35 years, and life-threatening storm surges and flooding can be expected over the course of the weekend. The mix of strong winds and potential flood waters makes it imperative for residents in the storm’s path to prioritize their pet’s safety by implementing essential preparedness tips.

"The Northeast is rarely impacted by storms like Hurricane Henri, making it vital for pet owners, especially those who have recently acquired pets throughout the pandemic, to incorporate their animals into their disaster preparedness and evacuation plans,” said Tim Rickey, Vice President, ASPCA National Field Response. “Creating a portable pet emergency kit with the necessary items and ensuring your pet is equipped with the proper identification tags are two simple steps to safeguard their health and wellbeing in the case of an emergency evacuation due to the impending storm surge."

The ASPCA advises pet owners to take the following steps:

  • If you evacuate, take your pets with you. Never leave your pets behind or tether them to poles or trees, which prevents them from escaping high waters and getting to safe areas.
  • In the event of flooding, go to the highest location in your home or a room that has access to counters or high shelves where your animals can take shelter
  • Make sure all pets are wearing identification tags with up-to-date contact information. The ASPCA also recommends checking microchip registration information to ensure that contact information is up to date as well.
  • Create a portable pet emergency kit with essential items including medical records, water, water bowls, pet food and your pet’s medications. Choose a designated caregiver, such as a friend or relative outside the evacuation zone, who can take care of your pet in the event you are unable.

For more information on how to incorporate your pet into your disaster preparedness plans, visit

The ASPCA deploys nationwide to assist in relocation, search-and-rescue, sheltering and placement of animals during disaster situations including wildfires, tornadoes and floods. In addition, they work closely with local agencies across the country to help enhance their animal response capabilities through grants and training opportunities. Last year, the ASPCA operated an emergency shelter in Louisiana for animals displaced by Hurricane Laura and assisted in the transportation of more than 400 homeless animals out of disaster-impacted communities.