Including animals in disaster management planning

With millions of local people depending on animals for their livelihoods, and for companionship, it is essential to protect animals, so their owners can rebuild their lives when the worst happens.

Ensuring animals are not forgotten in our National Disaster Management Plan

Working with national, state and local governments, we are ensuring that animals are included in disaster management plans, to help animals, communities, and local people survive and thrive after disasters.

National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM), World Animal Protection and Policy Perspectives Foundation (PPF) have successfully reached the landmark of integrating animals in the National Disaster Management Plan with the release of Disaster Management Plan for the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairy & Fisheries, Government of India. The plan for the first time ensures that animals will be included in disaster preparations, potentially saving millions of animals’ lives and building the resilience of the communities that depend on them.

With national legislation and policy in India driving action to help animals, we are supporting the NDMA, as they move towards a National Disaster Management Plan for India.

Access the plan here.


Including animals is important at all levels of disaster management planning

Offering training, advice, expertise and guidelines, we are helping local people to protect and care for their animals. Giving them the tools, to put in place long term, sustainable solutions to safeguard their animals, families and livelihoods.

To find out how you can protect your livestock and pets before disasters, see our guidelines below:

Advice for livestock owners

Have a prepared emergency kit available at all times for your animals (this may include animal identification and records / documents / important contact numbers and first aid supplies).

If you have no choice but to leave your livestock behind:

  • Before evacuating, and if it is safe for you to do so, move livestock to higher ground. Leave them enough food and clean water for 72 hours. They will need protection from the elements and shelter.
  • Untie animals so they have a chance to move to safety should floodwaters rise. Tethered or penned animals have no chance in a flood or storm surge. Animals are strong swimmers and untying them gives them a chance to survive.
  • When returning after flood waters have receded, have plenty of fresh water available. Check and secure fencing as these may have shifted in the floods.

Advice for pet owners

Below is a checklist of emergency survival items to prepare for your pet:

  • Food: Store at least three days of non-perishable pet food (canned or dried) in an airtight, waterproof container (remember the can opener!). Ideally this should be the same food as you would normally feed your pet to avoid stomach upsets.
  • Water: Store at least three days of water for your pet, in addition to the water you need for your family (remember an animal can drink more water than usual when under stress). Plus you will need extra water to clean up after your pet.
  • Medicines: Store any extra supply of medicines your pet needs in a waterproof container, as well as any special dietary needs or supplements.
  • Veterinary/Medical Records: Store copies of any medical and vaccination records in a watertight container or zip-lock bag including your vet’s name and telephone number (in case you have to shelter your pet or place them in foster care).
  • First Aid Kit: Prepare a first aid kit. Talk to your vet about any specific requirements such as tick/flea prevention, antibiotic ointment and saline solution (i.e. eye wash solution separate from your family use)

Together, we can prepare and plan to safeguard animals during and after disasters, to reduce the often devastating effects disasters can have on whole communities.

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