Are You Ready for Emergency Evacuation Orders With Your Pets?

Even Responsible Pet Owners Are Not Prepared for Emergencies, According to a Poll Conducted in 2006, Despite the Gloomy Predictions Regarding the Hurricane Season

According to the findings of a survey that was carried out by the American Kennel Club (r), the vast majority of people who own pets view their four-legged companions as members of the family. Among those polled, 62 percent said they would defy the authorities and remain with their pets even if they were forced to evacuate their homes and moved to a location where they could not bring their animals with them.

“an above-average Atlantic hurricane season,” that is the forecast according to the National Weather Service of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. On June 1st, the season will officially begin.

Majority are Responsible Pet Owners

A significant majority of those surveyed are responsible, caring pet owners.

  • – 97% would take their pets with them in case of an evacuation
  • – 97% keep up with vaccinations
  • – 79% permanently identify their pets through microchipping or tattoo
  • – 62% have a family evacuation plan in case a natural disaster hits
  • – 61% have a pet evacuation plan
  • – 23% were prompted to design an emergency plan for their pet after Hurricanes Katrina/Rita
  • – 91% of owners say they have a copy of their pet’s vaccination records, 79% have their AKC registration papers, 93% have an extra leash and 89% have extra dog food-some of the basics for a pet disaster kit

Despite Love for Pets, Owners Not Ready for an Emergency

Even though the vast majority of people who participated in the survey consider their pets to be members of their family, there are some concerning indications that many people are not prepared to safely evacuate their pets in the event that it becomes necessary to do so.
– More than half of those who do not have an evacuation plan for their pet said they would like to have one but didn’t know how. Twenty-two percent of those who do not have an evacuation plan for their pet say it is because they live in a geographic location that isn’t likely to be a target for terrorism or isn’t susceptible to natural disasters or other disasters.
– Even though the majority of pet owners have their pets’ vaccination records as well as extra food and water on hand, the vast majority of pet owners (76 percent) do not have these items assembled in a portable pet disaster kit in the event that they need to evacuate their homes immediately. 55 percent of respondents do not have a list of hotels that are pet-friendly that are located outside of the evacuation zone for their area.

Lisa Peterson, a spokesperson for the AKC, was quoted as saying, “The threat of a disaster, both natural and otherwise, is always present.” “While it’s clear that the pet owners surveyed have a deep love and concern for their animals, it’s concerning to learn that many of them are not prepared to quickly and safely evacuate their animals in the event of an emergency. Because the hurricane season is just around the corner and there is still a risk of terrorism, we strongly urge all pet owners to make adequate preparations for any and all types of emergency situations as soon as possible and to always heed the advice of the authorities.

According to Dennis Feltgen, a Meteorologist and Public Affairs Officer for the National Weather Service of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, “We are expecting an above-average hurricane season.” “Prepare, prepare, prepare. It is common knowledge that those who prepare for hurricanes in advance and carry out their preparations enjoy significantly better outcomes than those who do not. During the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, we witnessed firsthand how many people in the Gulf region regard their animals as members of their families. There are some shelters that will take pets, but the majority of them won’t. Ensure that your pet is included in your emergency preparedness plans.”

Pet Owners Level of Preparedness Varies by Region

  • Southeast (including Gulf States)

– The effects of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita were evident in the findings of the survey, as residents of the Southeast are the most prepared to safely evacuate their pets in the event of an emergency. Almost three quarters of those polled (74 percent) reported that they have an evacuation plan for their pet, and 29 percent reported that they have a pet disaster kit assembled. This indicates that the Southeast residents were most affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
– Because of the hurricanes Katrina and Rita, more than a quarter of the people living in the Southeast developed an evacuation plan for their pets. Over half of pet owners, or 58%, have maintained a contingency plan at all times.

  • Northeast

– It should not come as a surprise that the Northeast leads the country in the number of respondents who created an evacuation plan for their pet after the events of September 11th, with 16 percent of Northeast respondents doing so, compared to only 8 percent of respondents nationally. – – – – – – – – – – The Northeast, on the other hand, had the lowest percentage of people in the country who had an evacuation plan for their pets (51 percent )

  • Midwest

A higher percentage of those polled nationally have an evacuation plan for their pets (61 percent), than the number of pet owners in the Midwest who have evacuation plans for themselves and their families. – The Midwest has the highest percentage of pet owners who say they do not have a pet disaster kit assembled in case of an evacuation. This percentage is the highest in the nation. – The Midwest also has the highest percentage of pet owners who say they do not have an evacuation plan for themselves and their families (58 percent )

  • Southwest

– Only 14% of residents in the Southwest do not keep records of their pets’ vaccinations in their homes, which is the lowest percentage when compared with residents of other regions.

  • Northwest

Residents of the Northwest who say they did not have an evacuation plan give the reason that they live in an area that isn’t a likely target for terrorism and isn’t susceptible to natural disasters. This explanation is given by thirty percent of the residents who say they did not have a plan. This is 8 percent higher than the national average – 74 percent of those Northwest residents surveyed have microchipped their pets, which is significantly higher than the national average (65 percent). n 99 percent of those surveyed in the Northwest are up to date with the vaccinations of their pets, which is the highest percentage in the United States.

Visit the website of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration at to learn more about National Hurricane Preparedness Week.

The American Kennel Club carried out the survey over the course of a two-week period in the month of May in 2006. A total of 1,006 respondents provided their honest feedback in response to 17 questions. In order to recruit participants for this study, self-selection methods were used. The American Kennel Club does not provide any guarantee that these statistics are applicable to the entire population. This information should only be taken as anecdotal evidence.

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