7:14 PM EDT, October 6, 2012
This summer's "Derecho" and especially Hurricane Katrina have taught us just how important it is to have a disaster plan. But a plan isn't just important for people; it’s important for pets too! That’s why emergency workers took part in an emergency drill at Patrick Henry High School. They practiced processing pets, coordinating emergency operations and providing needed supplies for pets and their owners. Emergency workers say pet owners are less likely than others to evacuate in an emergency.
Roanoke City Emergency Manager Mike Guzo was at the Roanoke Civic Center in June when our area was hit hard by Mother Nature. “We actually activated Roanoke's CART on June 29th for the Derecho, it was the first actual activation of the team at the Civic Center. We had a co-located pet shelter along with the human shelter, he said.
Right now, CART has 27 volunteers. They say places like Patrick Henry High School may serve as a shelter--providing a cool place to stay, water and more. Pets and their owners were on-hand so volunteers could test their emergency skills.
Jacquelyn Zidzik is a member of the Roanoke Community Animal Response Team. “I think a lot of people fear the worst when they've seen the reports of Katrina when people had to leave their pets in a house and feel like they were abandoning them. I feel like I am giving them an opportunity to stay with their best friends, their companions or in some peoples' minds, their family members,” she said.
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