As I mentioned on theÂ The Brian Lehrer ShowÂ earlier today, the City has alteredÂ its policy to permit pets in emergency shelters during a disaster.
The change had been made previously but it had not been publicly announced, accordingÂ to a New York City Office of Emergency Management spokesperson.
IÂ checked with OEMÂ after receiving a call on air duringÂ last week’s show. The caller, “Mira from Oceanside”,Â urged pet owners to prepare for disasters in part because they would notÂ beÂ allowedÂ in emergency shelters.Â
TheÂ change comes as a result ofÂ discussions betweenÂ the City,Â the animal protection community and pet owners.Â To me, itÂ is aÂ case study in howÂ public preparednessÂ policy should be made combining increased citizen responsibility with responsive government.
Though the shelters should be viewed as a place of last resort for animals duringÂ a disaster,Â the City will no longer turn away people with pets.Â
Among the emergency preparations pet owners should be making in advance:
*a ‘Go-Bag’ for each animal;
*establishingÂ a place to keep the pet outside of the disaster area if there is warning; and
*microchipping the pet with the owner’s information in case they are lost
Here in New York, theÂ Mayor’s Alliance for New York City AnimalsÂ will be microchipping dogs and cats at their adoption festivals throughout the CityÂ at the discount rate of $25. Check their web siteÂ for places and times.