to the increasing number of natural
disasters across the United States,
animal owners are being advised
to design emergency disaster plans
that includes companion animals, horses
Project Impact Coordinator
City of Sparks
1999 to 2004
had the opportunity to work with Michael
Steele, Emergency Management Coordinator
for the City of Sparks, Nevada,
of emergency planning team
for "Project Impact,” a
Federal Emergency Management Agency
(FEMA) funded initative.
began developing a pilot project for
animal owners including public information,
research, web access to disaster preparedness
information, developing relations with
the local Humane Society and also hosting
an equine disaster preparedness workshop.
Our research uncovered some very startling facts
about animals in disasters.
First and utmost is that if a natural or man-made disaster occurs check to
see if your state and the surrdounding states provide special needs
facilities for horses, livestock
or companion animals (pets).
National Humane Society reported in
their Animal Disaster Report, published
in the summer of 1996, that 70% of
dog and 62% of cat owners would risk
their own lives to save their pets!
Remember the incredible firestorm in
Malibu, California in 1993? None of
the thousands of firefighters involved
were killed, and none of the homeowners
were killed during the evacuation,
except for one man who went back into
the fire area to try and save his cat.
research also shows that only five
percent (5%) or less of those evacuating
with animals would actually TRY to
find a special assistance shelter for
goal is to provide public information
to animal owners to assist them in
developing disaster preparedness plans
before a disaster strikes.
world is made up of two types of people – those
who are convinced that a disaster can
never happen to them and those who
prefer not to take the chance.
is a critical point in history when
immediate action is called for to resolve
a crisis. There is now a crisis facing
horse owners, and that is the lack
of structure for protecting horses
and other animals before, during and
after a disaster.
there are parts of the puzzle all around
us and many people are at last interested
in discovering how to put it all together.
Rick Tobin, Emergency Management Consultant
said, “We have now reached what
the French called a thermidor -- when
the heat of public outcry has reached
the boiling point. There are people
who want action. There are people willing
to take action.”
one needs to be convinced after floods
and fires have challenged Americans.
number of horses and owners continues
to increase, but the size of resources
to handle warnings, evacuations, and
sheltering is actually decreasing.
Yet the resources are availble --if
people pulled together.
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