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Natural Disaster: Animal Preparation and Response

Natural disasters affect animals as much as they do their human counterparts. The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) works with local, state, federal, non-governmental, and sector partners to help plan for, respond to, and recover from natural disasters that affect livestock and companion and service animals.

In order to ensure a Whole Community approach to all-hazards disaster response, the TAHC encourages individuals, local jurisdictions, and other disaster response partners to prepare for handling animal issues in a natural disaster (i.e. fires, floods, extreme weather, and hurricanes) through proactive preparedness.

Animal Owners

Whether you own livestock, a companion/pet animal, or have a service animal, your animals should be included in planning for an emergency. Individuals are encouraged to:

For natural disaster specific information, visit the resources below.

Local, State, and Federal Response Partners

The TAHC is the lead state agency for coordinating animal issues response in disasters. Please visit the TAHC Response Partner webpage for resources, guidance, and tools to assist your agency or organization plan for and respond to natural disasters.


Flooding

Tropical storms, hurricanes, and thunderstorms can cause flooding with little or no warning. Severe weather has the potential to cause catastrophic loss of life and property, financial, and environment damage to local communities. Animals may be displaced and need temporary sheltering, housing feeding, and care. They may also be injured or diseased and need veterinary attention. Prepare now to protect your livestock and pets during flooding.


Tornadoes

Tornadoes can occur anywhere with little or no warning. Severe weather has the potential to cause catastrophic loss of life and property, financial, and environment damage to local communities. Animals may be displaced and need temporary sheltering, housing feeding, and care. They may also be injured or diseased and need veterinary attention. Prepare now to protect your livestock and pets during severe weather.


Winter Storms

Winter storms and cold weather can impact animal health as well as human health. Winter storms can be stressful to livestock. Wind chills and prolonged cold increases their need for shelter, food and water. Prepare now to protect your livestock and pets during winter storms.


Extreme Heat

The Texas summers can get hot and with proper preparation your animals can keep cool and hydrated during the summer months.


Wildfires

Wildfires affect America’s farms and ranches, damaging and destroying homes, barns, agriculture production facilities, and livestock. Much of this damage can be minimized, if a few precautions are taken to minimize the risk and spread of wildfires.Prepare now to protect your livestock and pets during a wildfire.