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Remember Animal Health and Welfare During Severe Weather Awareness Week in North Carolina

March 3-9 is Severe Weather Awareness Week in North Carolina and residents are cautioned to be aware of tornadoes and severe thunderstorms as spring approaches.

Last year, the National Weather Service issued 60 tornado warnings for North Carolina and recorded 21 actual tornadoes. In one day alone in 2011–April 16–more than 24 deadly tornadoes were recorded in 33 of North Carolina’s 100 counties.

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

U.S. Department of Agriculture and Plant Health Inspection Service:

Animals in Disasters

American Red Cross:

Pets in Disasters 

Pet Travel Center:

Pet Emergency Preparedness

NC State College of Veterinary Medicine:

Emergency Preparedness and Travel for Pet Bird Owners

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

Travel-Ready Pet Resource List

Raleigh Aquarium Society and North American Native Fishes Association:

Traveling with pet fish

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


NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services:

Equine Disaster Response Alliance website

Horse owner’s disaster preparation brochure

24 step disaster plan

NC State Extension Horse Husbandry:

Hurricane preparations for horse farms

Farm Animals

USDA Animal Welfare Information Center:

Disaster Planning for Farm Animals

NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services:

Emergency Programs Division