Does Your Animal Shelter Have A Disaster Recovery Plan

January 23, 2015

Disasters can happen at anytime anywhere. Disasters can range from major earthquakes, flooding, and fires to storms such as tornadoes, hurricanes and ice storms. Having a disaster plan in place at your local animal shelter is extremely important. It helps protect the animals and your staff in the event a disaster occurs. If you do not have one, it is time to sit down with everyone who works at your local animal shelter and come up with one. If your unsure of what the disaster plan should include the tips below will help, you begin creating a plan now.
1. Evacuation Location: In the event a horrible disaster occurs that involves an evacuation, you should have a second location you can safely bring the animals and staff. The second location should be spacious, safe and bring the necessary tools and equipment to take care of the animals such as food, water, crates, blankets, first aid animal’s kits and necessary medicines to treat animals that need particular care. It’s also wise to figure out how your going to transport all the animals safely to the second location if need.
2. Fire Escape Plan: Fires can happen at anytime anywhere. If one breaks out in your shelter have a plan that involves getting all the animals and staff out safely through exits. This includes making sure the exits to the shelter are free and clear from boxes and any other objects that might be in the way. It’s also important to have fire extinguishers placed in easy to access location throughout the shelter and ideas on where to place the animals that have been evacuated from the burning building in the event of a fire.
3. List of Emergency Volunteers: In the event of any kind of disaster that requires extra sets of hands for helping, it is wise to have a list of volunteers that would be able to help the shelter out in the event of an emergency situation. Having volunteers can help make handing a disastrous situation easier as well as the recovery process.
4. Back up Generator: During cold winter months, snow and ice storms can knock the power out. This leaves the animals in the shelter without heat to keep warm. It’s essential to have a back up generator to keep heat flowing through the building in the even the power does go out so the animals stay warm and healthy.

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