Planning for animals in disaster needs to be a cooperative effort between the State of New Hampshire, the cities and towns, and organizations and persons with interest and expertise in this area of emergency preparedness and planning. Plans for animals in disaster should be formatted to integrate with the respective Local Emergency Operations Plan (LEOP) or state EOP (SEOP) and should follow the requirements of ICS and NIMS. Domestic pets should be defined by communities to help set parameters for developing plans for rescuing, evacuating, and sheltering differenttypes of animals.
Animal disaster plans will address the same four phases of disaster planning as human disaster plans:
Mitigation In order to eliminate or minimize the impact of disasters on farmers, pet owners, and animal facilities, mitigation may include activities such as encouraging animal facilities to locate out of floodplain or storm-surge areas; requiring owners of dangerous exotics to have disaster plans to evacuate their animals or confine them safely on-site; and educating residents with livestock to work with their fire officials to develop fire-safety plans.
Preparation Taking steps to prepare for specific emergencies may include purchasing generators, additional caging or other supplies; training volunteers; finding sites for temporary animal shelters or pet-friendly shelters; and including DART teams as part of the local emergency response protocols.
Response Taking action when disaster is imminent may include activating animal response teams under the direction of the Incident Commander or EOC, opening pet-friendly shelters, distributing animal feed and supplies, and operating emergency veterinary clinics.
Recovery Guidelines set to help the community return to predisaster state may include activities such as setting up contingencies for the long-term fostering of animals whose owners have lost their source of income or cannot find new housing where they are allowed to keep pets.