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Challenges of Managing Animals in Disasters in the U.S.

Heath SE, Linnabary RD - Animals (Basel) (2015)

Bottom Line: Unless this root cause is addressed, communities remain vulnerable to similar issues with animals they and others have faced in past disasters.There is no other factor contributing as much to human evacuation failure in disasters that is under the control of emergency management when a threat is imminent as pet ownership.Emergency managers can take advantage of the bond people have with their animals to instill appropriate behavior amongst pet owners in disasters.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Program Development and Analysis, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Washington, DC 20472, USA. 1952heath@gmail.com.

ABSTRACT
Common to many of the repeated issues surrounding animals in disasters in the U.S. is a pre-existing weak animal health infrastructure that is under constant pressure resulting from pet overpopulation. Unless this root cause is addressed, communities remain vulnerable to similar issues with animals they and others have faced in past disasters. In the US the plight of animals in disasters is frequently viewed primarily as a response issue and frequently handled by groups that are not integrated with the affected community's emergency management. In contrast, animals, their owners, and communities would greatly benefit from integrating animal issues into an overall emergency management strategy for the community. There is no other factor contributing as much to human evacuation failure in disasters that is under the control of emergency management when a threat is imminent as pet ownership. Emergency managers can take advantage of the bond people have with their animals to instill appropriate behavior amongst pet owners in disasters.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Summary of the total number of projects funded and funding obligated by FEMA to support disaster preparedness for animals (Fiscal Years 2007–2010); most projects supported animal agriculture. Source: FEMA, 2011.
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animals-05-00173-f002: Summary of the total number of projects funded and funding obligated by FEMA to support disaster preparedness for animals (Fiscal Years 2007–2010); most projects supported animal agriculture. Source: FEMA, 2011.

Mentions: At the national level, in the U.S., an example of effective legislation is the Pet Evacuation and Transportation Standards (PETS) Act, which addresses “the needs of individuals with pets and service animals prior to, during, and following a major disaster or emergency” by making the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) preparedness grant funds available “to the States and local authorities for animal emergency preparedness purposes, including the procurement, construction, leasing, or renovating of emergency shelter facilities and materials that will accommodate people with pets and service animals” [18]. Coincidental with the passing of this law and the recovery from Hurricane Katrina (in 2005) many States have greatly increased the use of federal FEMA preparedness grant funding for activities involving animals; notably, however, many of these activities supported animal agriculture and not pets (Table 2 [19]; Figure 1 and Figure 2).


Challenges of Managing Animals in Disasters in the U.S.

Heath SE, Linnabary RD - Animals (Basel) (2015)

Summary of the total number of projects funded and funding obligated by FEMA to support disaster preparedness for animals (Fiscal Years 2007–2010); most projects supported animal agriculture. Source: FEMA, 2011.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4494405&req=5

animals-05-00173-f002: Summary of the total number of projects funded and funding obligated by FEMA to support disaster preparedness for animals (Fiscal Years 2007–2010); most projects supported animal agriculture. Source: FEMA, 2011.
Mentions: At the national level, in the U.S., an example of effective legislation is the Pet Evacuation and Transportation Standards (PETS) Act, which addresses “the needs of individuals with pets and service animals prior to, during, and following a major disaster or emergency” by making the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) preparedness grant funds available “to the States and local authorities for animal emergency preparedness purposes, including the procurement, construction, leasing, or renovating of emergency shelter facilities and materials that will accommodate people with pets and service animals” [18]. Coincidental with the passing of this law and the recovery from Hurricane Katrina (in 2005) many States have greatly increased the use of federal FEMA preparedness grant funding for activities involving animals; notably, however, many of these activities supported animal agriculture and not pets (Table 2 [19]; Figure 1 and Figure 2).

Bottom Line: Unless this root cause is addressed, communities remain vulnerable to similar issues with animals they and others have faced in past disasters.There is no other factor contributing as much to human evacuation failure in disasters that is under the control of emergency management when a threat is imminent as pet ownership.Emergency managers can take advantage of the bond people have with their animals to instill appropriate behavior amongst pet owners in disasters.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Program Development and Analysis, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Washington, DC 20472, USA. 1952heath@gmail.com.

ABSTRACT
Common to many of the repeated issues surrounding animals in disasters in the U.S. is a pre-existing weak animal health infrastructure that is under constant pressure resulting from pet overpopulation. Unless this root cause is addressed, communities remain vulnerable to similar issues with animals they and others have faced in past disasters. In the US the plight of animals in disasters is frequently viewed primarily as a response issue and frequently handled by groups that are not integrated with the affected community's emergency management. In contrast, animals, their owners, and communities would greatly benefit from integrating animal issues into an overall emergency management strategy for the community. There is no other factor contributing as much to human evacuation failure in disasters that is under the control of emergency management when a threat is imminent as pet ownership. Emergency managers can take advantage of the bond people have with their animals to instill appropriate behavior amongst pet owners in disasters.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus