Hurricane Preparedness (cont.)

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How do I deal with wild and domestic animals in a disaster?

Be cautious of wild or stray animals. They may be disoriented and dangerous following a hurricane or flood. Try to confine the animal without putting yourself at risk of being bitten. Call the Animal Control agency in your county if you find or come across a wild or domestic animal. Rising water in hurricanes displace snakes which may seek the same higher drier ground that people, pets and other animals may occupy. Be aware of this hazard and avoid any reptiles.

Wild and domestic animals may escape or be killed in disasters. Escaped animals may wander onto land where they may:

  • contaminate water supplies
  • cause a build-up of manure
  • overgraze sensitive ecosystems
  • cause damage to crops

Decaying carcasses create biologic waste, may contaminate groundwater, cause foul odors, and attract flies and rodents, which can spread disease. Animal carcasses should be disposed of as soon as possible to avoid creating a health hazard to animals or humans. Contact your local animal control department or local health department for specific disposal guidance.

Medically reviewed by Martin E Zipser, MD; American Board of Surgery

REFERENCES: Hurricanes Plus Cyclones, Typhoons, & Other Tropical Storms.

National Weather Service. Family Disaster Plan.

National Weather Service. National Hurricane Preparedness Week.

Washtenaw County Department of Planning & Environment. Environmental Health Fact Sheet; Safe Drinking Water During a Disaster.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/6/2015

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