Hurricane Preparedness

Emergency Numbers
Fire, Police, and other Emergency Services 911
BellSouth (800) 642-0544
Progress Energy (800) 419-6356
Brunswick Electric (Outages) (800) 682-5309
Four County EMC (Outages) (888) 368-7289
North Carolina Natural Gas (800) 275-6264
Red Cross (910) 762-2683
Vita-Line (910) 815-5188
Coast Guard (910) 256-3469
Atlantic Telephone (910) 754-4317
Southeastern Mental Health Center (910) 251-6444
Cape Fear Hospital (910) 452-8100
New Hanover Regional Medical Center (910) 343-7000
Crisis Line (910) 392-7408
CSX Railroad (800) 232-0144
Domestic Violence (910) 343-0703
Salvation Army (910) 762-7345
What to do with Your Pets
Animal emergencies create danger for animals and their owners. The Number One reason people do not evacuate their homes in an emergency is because a pet is in the home. Pets are also the Number One reason people return to their homes before local authorities have declared it safe to do so, risking lives in the effort to save beloved pets.

North Carolina is home to millions of agricultural and domestic animals. Actually, 60% of households have pets. Hurricane Floyd proved to us that people will do almost anything to be reunited with their pets. Lack of preparation can cause unnecessary tragedy, human injury, and economic loss.

County Animal Response Teams (CART) encourage all pet owners to evacuate with their animals to prevent endangering human and animal lives.

Red Cross evacuation shelters will only allow service animals, so you must identify several possible locations where you can take your animals before you have to evacuate. This would include boarding kennels, veterinary clinics, and grooming facilities. CART maintains a list of "pet friendly" motels, and don't forget to ask friends and family members for help.
Following are supplies you should have in a disaster kit and for evacuation with your pets:

    Have enough food and drinking water to last at least one week for each animal in your household. Remember, if the tap water is not suitable for humans to drink, it is not suitable for animals either.

    Have a pooper scooper and/or plastic bags in your kit for picking up after your dog. Have a small cat little box, litter scoop, and a week's supply of cat little

    Include with your disaster supplies a small container of soap, paper towels, and a disinfectant for washing out your animal's food dish.

    All pets should have a proper fitting collar and an identification tag on at all times. Keep an extra collar and identification tag with your kit. Keep a proper fitting dog harness and at least a 6 foot long leash. Consider a microchip for safe and permanent identification of all of your pets.

    Purchase a plastic airline crate or a wire collapsible crate to transport your animal should you have to evacuate and/or to control the pet following a disaster. Be sure the crate is large enough for your animal to lie down comfortably and allow room for a food and water dish.

    Check with your veterinarian to find out what he/she recommends you include in your first aid kit.

    If your animal is on long term medication, always have on hand at least a (2) week supply. Check with your veterinarian to see if he/she has a disaster plan - if not, find a veterinarian in your area who does have a plan so that you can get medical care for your pet should it get injured during the disaster. Don't forget to update vaccinations and keep records of vaccinations with your disaster kit.

    Have current pictures of your animal in case your pet gets lost during the confusion. Including yourself in some of the photos will help prove ownership.

A plan now can make the difference between life, death, or tremendous suffering for companion animals. Leaving an animal behind greatly increases the chances that it will not survive.

Depending on the disaster you may need to evacuate your horse or try to ride out the ordeal at home. Either way, we suggest that you put your plan in writing, and give copies to persons who may become involved in your absence. You will be prepared, and so will they.


  • Trim or remove trees and vegetation near fences, barns, and roadways. Remove all debris that may be tossed around in winds. Use camper tie-downs to secure all vehicles, trailers, and maintenance equipment.
  • Inspect the condition of your barn. The choice of keeping your horse in a barn or open field is up to you. Use common sense and also take into consideration trees, power lines, and other conditions of the surrounding property.
  • Consider purchase of a solar fence charger.
  • Store feed to last two weeks in an air-tight container, raise hay off the ground and cover.
  • Fill large plastic trash cans with enough drinking water to last one week. The average adult horse drinks about 10-15 gallons a day.
  • Have a chainsaw and extra fuel ready in a safe place along with a hammer, nails, saw, wire cutters, and fencing materials, flashlights and batteries.
  • Prepare an emergency animal care kit with all the items you normally use to treat your horse, including a two week supply of any medications.
  • Be prepared to handle and increase in flies, mosquitoes, snakes, and angry bees after the storm.
  • Before the storm hits, turn off electricity to the barn. Leave a supply of hay and two buckets of water in the stall with each horse. Do not stay in the barn with your horse during the storm.
  • After the storm be very careful venturing outdoors. Live wired and dangling branches could be above your head as well as underfoot.

  • If you should need to evacuate your horse, where would you go? Now is the time to decide. It may be as simple as hauling him to higher ground, or possibly finding stabling options elsewhere.
  • Some suggestions for temporary housing are equine centers, boarding stables, racetracks, and fairgrounds. A reservation and Coggins certificate will be required.
  • In the case of a hurricane, plan to leave 48 hours before arrival of the storm.
  • Take with a 3-day supply of feed (water if possible), any required medication, two buckets and a pitchfork, leather halter and cotton lead rope.
  • If you choose to get out of the area altogether, take all your animals. Don't take your horse but leave dogs, cats, and birds at home alone.

  • Update vaccinations and obtain Coggins test.
  • Keep in a watertight bag copies of the Coggins certificate, a Bill of Sale for your horse and any registration pape5rs including identifying marks and tattoos. Recent photos of your horse (at least one photo should include the owner) will help prove ownership if necessary. Take this with you if you evacuate!
  • Identification is crucial and veterans of past storms have given several suggestions to help reunite animals and owners in the aftermath: dog ID tags with the horse's address, owner's name, and phone number can be attached to the halter. Plastic luggage tags with the same info can be braided into the mane and tail. (Do NOT tie around the tail as it may cut off circulation). Fetlock ID bands can be purchased ahead of time and placed around both front feet before the storm. Consider a microchip for safe and permanent identification of your horse.
  • Setting up a "buddy system" with neighbors can help to save the life of your horse.
Be ready to help others! Can you take in one, two or more animals for temporary shelter? Do you have pens or kennels for temporarily sheltering pets? Do you have extra pasture or stall space for horses? Can you help evacuate animals? If you can offer ANY help to those in need during a disaster, please contact:

CART (County Animal Response Team) Coordinator: 910-862-4591
Emergency Management: 910-862-6760

CART's Purpose Statement
To protect wild and domesticated animal resources, the public health, the public food supply, the environment, and to ensure the humane care and treatment of animals in case of a large-scale emergency, including hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, wind driven water, drought, fire, explosion, building collapse, commercial transportation accidents, chemical spills, nuclear power plan accidents, or other situations that cause animal suffering.

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