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Animal Owners Urged to Have Emergency Plan for Severe Weather

With spring and the traditional severe weather season still weeks away, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says the United States has already experienced a reported 128 tornadoes in the first two months of 2012. In comparison, the months of January and February combined during the past three years averaged 50 tornadoes.

And the 2012 hurricane season begins in June.

North Carolina State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, along with the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and numerous other organizations, have assembled useful resources to help veterinarians, animal care providers, and animal owners who find themselves in the path of tornadoes, hurricanes, tropical storms, floods, severe winter weather, or other events requiring emergency response or evacuation. As noted by in the AVMA’s emergency planning booklet, “Saving the Whole Family,” emergency preparations should include pets and other animals.

The following links provide useful information for disaster planning.

Companion Animals

American Veterinary Medical Association

Hurricane Preparedness Saving the Whole Family

North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Protecting your Pets in a Disaster

USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

Animals in Disasters

American Red Cross

Pets and Disaster Safety Checklist

Pet Travel

Pet Emergency Preparedness

NC State CVM – Toni Poston, Class of 2012

Emergency Preparedness and Travel for Pet Bird Owners

NC State CVM – Dr. Greg Lewbart’s Aquarium Tips

Emergency Preparedness for Fish: Dealing with Power Outages for Aquariums and Ponds

Raleigh Aquarium Society and North American Native Fishes Association

Traveling with pet fish

If you need to evacuate to a shelter with your pet

If you take pets to a shelter that allows them, you need to have pet supplies, collar with ID, up-to-date vet records, pet carrier, and leash. A picture of the pet is good to have. For identification purposes, it is also recommended that pets be microchipped. If there is no shelter that accepts pets, look for local hotels that allow pets such as those listed at

NCSU William Rand Kenan, Jr. Library of Veterinary Medicine

Travel-Ready Pet Resource List


NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (866-506-6222)
NC State Extension Horse Husbandry

Hurricane preparations for horse farms

Farm Animals

Disaster Planning for Farm Animals

North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Emergency Programs Division