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September 13, 2012

Helping Pets Survive

"Survivor" winner Jenna Morasca is spokesperson for The HSUS's disaster program and Animal Rescue Team.

  • Jenna Morasca encourages people to have a plan to help their pets survive disasters. Lisa J. Godfrey

On "Survivor: Amazon," Jenna Morasca outlasted plots and deprivations to become the youngest woman ever to win the reality show's top prize.

Now, as spokesperson for The HSUS, Morasca wants to help pets and their people overcome the very real challenges of surviving a disaster.

"Having a disaster plan that includes your animals, and never leaving your pet behind if you have to evacuate your home, are the keys to their survival," notes Morasca. She adds that this advice applies to everyone, because a natural or man-made disaster can strike any time, anywhere.

Morasca has recorded video Public Service Announcements about disaster preparation and evacuation to be released on the Web and provided to television stations around the country. She also is working with The HSUS to bring attention to the work of our Animal Rescue Team.

"Having a disaster plan that includes your animals, and never leaving your pet behind if you have to evacuate your home, are the keys to their survival."

"Even if pet owners do everything right, inevitably there will be animal victims of a disaster. Animal shelters may be affected. Wildlife, horses, or farm animals may need rescue or temporary care. It's great to know that The HSUS's Animal Rescue Team is trained and ready to help." Morasca is also voicing a video about the Animal Rescue Team's work in disasters, and in assisting the victims of cruelty situations such as puppy mills, hoarder cases, or dogfighting operations.

Morasca says she would welcome the opportunity to deploy with the Animal Rescue Team. "I so admire the work they do to rescue and bring comfort to animals in dire situations. Whatever I can do to help bring attention to their work—I'm there!" She adds that while the PSAs are focused on pets, the work of the disaster program and Animal Rescue Team can encompass all kinds of animals, including horses, farm animals, and wildlife.

Watch Jenna Morasca's disaster preparation PSA »
Watch Jenna Morasca's evacuation PSA »

In addition to winning "Survivior: Amazon" and competing in "The Amazing Race," Morasca has been a co-host on the Emmy-nominated show, "Everyday Health," and has served as a host and correspondent for CBS tv shows and events. 

To find out more, visit Jenna Morasca's website and follow Jenna on Twitter @JennaMorasca.

Top five tips to help your pet survive a disaster

1.  Start getting ready now. Get your pets microchipped, get an ID for your pet's collar, and figure out where you can go with your pet if you have to evacuate.

2.  If you evacuate, take your pet with you.

3.  If you and your pet are staying home, know how to be safe.

4.  Know what to do after the disaster passes.

5.  Be ready for everyday emergencies.

Get more details on disaster preparedness. The HSUS also has disaster planning information if you have horses or farm animals.

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