H.E.L.P for People and Pets
Petswelcome.com is proud to be working with Hurricane Hollow Weather in creating our H.E.L.P (Hurricane Evacuation and Location Planning) program so that people can make informed decisions when storms threaten their area and/or evacuation orders are given. For general information on how to handle emergencies with pets, you should refer to the CASEY (Caring for Animals Safety in Emergency during the Year) Plan, drawn up by the Disaster Response Team of the Humane Society of the United States. With regard to responding to specific hurricanes, petswelcome will be keeping track of impending storms, highlighting pet-friendly lodgings in the vicinity of active storm locations, as well as issuing an Android phone app (due early July) to locate pet-friendly lodgings so that if, during an emergency, you have no access to a computer you can still reliably find lodging.
We will also re-start our Animal Safety During Emergencies Forum for the current hurricane season so people have another way of communicating before, during and after storms. In addition, we will report on the current pet policies of major federal and state emergency management agencies, such as FEMA and the Florida Division of Emergency Management, among many others. The idea is to give pet-owners the knowledge and tools they need to increase the odds that both humans and pets will survive the storm.
- Hurricane Information
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) predicts a busy year for the Atlantic hurricane season, which began on June 1st and runs through November 30th. According to the NOAA, cooler than normal water in the eastern Pacific, known as La Nina, promotes more hurricanes in the Atlantic because it tends to reduce wind shear (which hinders hurricane development) and allows more thunderstorms to develop. This factor, combined with warmer water in the Atlantic, will most likely increase hurricane activity and the possibility of landfall.
Check the Active Storm Tracker for potential and mature hurricanes. Just click on the name of the storm to see its current and projected track:
Obviously, finding pet-friendly lodgings should not be a last-minute effort undertaken as the storm is hitting. Planning is essential. At your leisure, you should figure out your escape route and destination lodging. You can use the petswelcome.com Search by Route feature to get driving directions and as well as finding other pet-friendly lodgings along your route.
Initially, however, you should just choose what you think will be a safe destination and make sure there is a lodging that fits your needs as well as your pet’s. As you probably know, not all pet-friendly lodgings are the same: some don’t allow large dogs or cats; some charge fees. It would be tragic to show up at a hotel during an evacuation only to find out that your Great Dane will not be accepted. Petswelcome lists the pet policy right under each listing so you’ll know what your options are. We also recommend calling ahead to double-check the hotel policy and to ask any questions pertinent to your family’s specific needs. Again, we cannot emphasize enough the importance of doing this far ahead of time so that if disaster strikes, you’ll at least feel comfortable that you and your pet(s) are heading to a safe harbor, one that will welcome and protect you until the storm has passed.
Next: Your rights as a pet owner during emergencies
H.E.L.P for People and Pets is a joint initiative between: