The state Senate on Tuesday unanimously passed a resolution sponsored by Sen. Tim Solobay urging communities to consider livestock and family pets when creating disaster response plans.
“Hurricane Katrina had a dramatic impact on New Orleans, but it also had a dramatic impact on disaster planning across the country,” Solobay said. “One of the lessons learned is that, without plans to evacuate pets and livestock, many residents will take unnecessary risks and put rescuers at risk as well.”
Solobay’s resolution marks this week as “Animal Natural Preparedness Week” in Pennsylvania, and urges local emergency management officials to work under the guidelines of the federal Pet Emergency Transportation and Standards Act.
“After what happened in New Orleans, federal emergency management officials began helping communities add plans for livestock and pets to their disaster plans,” Solobay said. “Without a plan for animals, communities might not qualify for federal grants.”
Pennsylvania is home to more than 40 million farm animals, including livestock and poultry, Solobay said.
“A natural disaster could create an economic and environmental disaster if we don’t plan ahead,” he said.