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Midwestern and Southern Residents in Path of Potential Tornadoes Urged to Take Pets with Them If Evacuating

The Humane Society of the United States reminds residents in areas of Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri to take their pets with them if they evacuate in the face of a potential severe weather outbreak predicted for the area. This destructive weather could impact the southern plains area of the US. The National Weather Service has indicated that there is a risk of violent, long-lived and long track tornadoes, large hail, high winds and flash flooding.

"It is crucial that residents are prepared to take pets with them when evacuating in the face of these destructive tornadoes," advised Justin Scally, interim manager of disaster response for The HSUS’ Animal Rescue Team. "If it isn't safe for you, it isn't safe for your pets.”

Pet owners should have an emergency plan that includes the safety of their animals, and always be informed about the potential for evacuation in their area.

This emergency supply kit should include:

  • Three-or-more-day supply of food in airtight, waterproof container, and drinking water.
  • Bowls for food and water.
  • Current photos and physical description of your pets, including details on markings.
  • Medications, vaccination records and pet first aid supplies.
  • Comfort items such as a toy and blanket.
  • Small garbage bags.
  • For dogs include: leash, harness and a sturdy carrier large enough to use as a sleeping area.
  • For cats include: litter and litter box and a sturdy carrier large enough for transport.

Pet owners should be aware that many evacuation shelters do not accept pets, and they must plan their destination in advance. Hotels and motels may be willing to lift "no pet" restriction in an emergency. Friends and family members living outside the area may be able to provide shelter too. Please check with your local animal shelter or emergency management office to determine if a pet friendly emergency shelter will be set up in your location.

Countless communities in the Midwest and South have been affected this year by historic flooding and tornadoes, and The HSUS has responded to some of the hardest hit areas in Missouri, Alabama and Mississippi. The HSUS has helped to shelter and rescue hundreds of animals, and we continue to assess the impact of flooding in other states.

For more tips on preparedness plans that include your pets, visit humanesociety.org/prepare

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The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the Web at humanesociety.org.