Remember your pets during cyclone preparation

compiled by Samoa News staff

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — As we all recover from Cyclone Gita, now is a good time to review our cyclone and disaster preparedness checklists. Be sure if you have pets to include preparing for them as you prepare for your family. 

After a disaster, familiar surroundings can become altered and potentially dangerous.  Landslides, downed power lines, flooding, roofing metal, etc can cause injuries and death to dogs, cats, and livestock.  Pets can become disoriented and lost easily.  Water can become contaminated with sewage, bacteria, and parasites and make animals sick when they drink it. 

As many animals in American Samoa live outside, it is very important to provide them some sort of shelter if it is not possible to bring them inside a house.  Animals should not be left tied or chained during cyclones or tsunami watch.  Additional information can be found at FEMA’s website:

Here is a useful and practical checklist when considering your pets here in disaster preparation:

1.         Identification: Make sure your pet is collared and licensed in case it gets lost. Animals spayed and neutered here receive a tattoo in their right ear, which can also help identify a lost animal. Microchips are another means of identifying pets, but require a scanning device used here at the veterinary clinic.

2.         Leash, harness, or rope to secure dogs, and a kennel or box to secure your cats if you need to move in an emergency. Cats can be moved in a pillowcase in an emergency.

3.         Food and water: As you store plenty of food and water for your family, make sure you will have enough to feed your animals for at least a week or more. Pets need clean water just like we do, as they are susceptible to the same organisms that make us sick when water is contaminated. 

4.         Medications: If your pets are on any special medications be sure to stock up in advance. 

5. Shelter: The safest place for your pet is inside the house with your family, however, if this is not possible, be sure to find another secure building or shelter for the animals to be protected from high winds and flying debris, flooding, and downed power lines. 

Please contact us at the vet clinic at 699-9445 if you are looking for a pet to adopt or find an animal in need of help.

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