In a disaster situation (natural or man-made) pets are not allowed inside emergency shelters for people. Safety, health and sanitation reasons require animals be housed away from people displaced from their homes. For that reason, animal owners must have a plan in place to care for their pets and/or livestock should a disaster hit at home. Some disasters (like a flood or fire) require evacuation, while others (like a snowstorm) may isolate a site, requiring the people (and their animals) to shelter-in-place and be self-sustaining for hours--or even days--before help can arrive.
Think it can't happen to your community?
Consider this: Since 1990, 90 of Indiana's 92 counties had at least one federally declared emergency. That means a disaster situation has been significant enough to overwhelm local resources.
Indiana was the first state in the nation to have a formal, statewide plan to address the needs of animals caught in disaster situations. However, Indiana's VMRC/ASERT network activates only under a governor-declared disaster. Therefore, individuals must be prepared meet their own needs in the initial hours/days of a situation.
The following guide sheets offer tips for keeping animals safe and prepared, before, during and after a disaster: