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As Tropical Storm Isaac heads toward the Gulf Coast, residents in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama can keep up-to-date on pet safety tips via tweets from the Humane Society of the United States.
The HSUS is providing residents with information on evacuation resources and other safety tips via Twitter to help reduce lost pets and impact on already stressed disaster resources.
"Pets left behind in a disaster can easily be injured, lost or killed," said Niki Dawson, director of disaster services for The HSUS. "Even if you think you will only be gone for a few hours, take your pets. You have no way of knowing how long you’ll be kept out of the area, and you may not be able—or allowed—to go back for your pets."
If pets must wait out a storm or other disaster at home, Dawson recommends creating an animal friendly safe area by closing off or eliminating unsafe nooks and crannies where frightened cats may try to hide and moving dangerous items such as tools or toxic products that have been stored in the area.
Pets should be brought inside or evacuated in the event of heavy downpours, high winds, or storm surge. Have an evacuation route planned that includes pet-friendly places to stay by checking with friends or family outside the area or identifying motels or shelters that can accomodate pets and bring along a supply kit for pets as well as people.
An emergency supply kit for pets 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 pets, including details on markings; medications, vaccination records and pet first aid supplies; comfort items such as a toy and blanket; and 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.