First, there was Hurricane Harvey. Then, the Eagle Creek Fires. And now, Hurricane Irma looms over the Southeastern United States. It’s a scary time and we’ve found ourselves shaking our heads in dismay, wondering what we can do to make a difference in any small way. Based on various volunteer responses, here are our top recommendations for offering support.
1. If you can donate, give money, not resources.
With so many active efforts needed, the best thing to do is give a monetary donation rather than resources that would need to be sorted and distributed by volunteers whose time could be spent in other ways.
Our top resources to donate to include:
Oregon Humane Society is helping a ton with Harvey pets who need relocation.
Austin Pets Alive needs both resources and monetary donations.
Smaller organizations or communities that may not receive as much support. These pet-focused non-profits are a great place to start.
2. Step up to volunteer as a pet foster or relocation home.
Our local humane societies took in over 30 dogs that had been displaced by Hurricane Harvey. While those dogs have been placed in shelters or homes, there is always a lack of foster dog parents for when the next emergency strikes.
You can volunteer to be a foster home with the Oregon Humane Society here.
3. Support organizations that protect our wild lands.
Environmental protection organizations and watchdogs like Friends of the Columbia Gorge are great organizations to support, especially with all the trail-clearing and restorative action that will need to take place once the fires have ended. They will also be having cleanups and stewardship events around Eagle Creek once the fires have cleared.
4. Make sure your pets are protected and safe.
The biggest questions in an emergency are where to go and what to bring. By preparing with your pet in mind ahead of time, you can focus on safely avoiding dangerous situations.
Create a list of safe kennels nearby and ask your local shelters if they provide emergency shelter services or bookmark BringFido, a really useful resource for pet-friendly hotels.
Prepare a disaster kit that can last for at least 5 days. Include a gallon of clean water, shelf-stable meals, any medical reports or medication your pet may need, as well as information about your pet’s feeding schedule and photos of your pet, in case you’re separated from them.
If there is a sudden emergency and you need to evacuate, get a free rescue alert sticker from ASPCA so emergency teams can know there may be a pet inside.