Hurricane alert: pet owners beware — here comes Ike!

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143912W_sm.gifSouth Texas residents, beware! Here comes Hurricane Ike. Currently a Category 2 Hurricane, Ike is predicted to make landfall on the U.S. mainland on Saturday, September 13, possibly as a Category 3 hurricane.

Texas Gulf coast residents are already being warned to prepare for disaster and plans have been put in place for evacuations and emergency shelters.

The Environmental News Service reports:

Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs is making hurricane housing resources for communities available on the agency’s website. The department will contact community action agencies in the projected path of the storm and advise them that they may be called upon to serve more people.

Texas Animal Health Commission is coordinating with its member agencies and encouraging residents to call 2-1-1 for the latest shelter information for pets and livestock.

The Emergency Management Council and State Operations Center are fully activated. The State Operations Center is closely monitoring Hurricane Ike, and holding twice daily conference calls with federal, state and local officials, private industry partners, volunteer organizations, and the National Weather Service.

Petfinder reminds residents in the storm’s path of some of the important steps to take to prepare your pets for emergencies. Find disaster preparation tips after the jump.

Quick Tips for Disaster Preparation

Prepare your disaster plan and review it with all your family members.

Take photos of your pet with your cell phone. If you and your pet become separated, the pictures will help rescue groups reunite you more easily.

Have a pet carrier ready for your pet in case of evacuation. You
will need a carrier, collars with tags, leashes and harnesses for safe
transport in your car and for any public evacuation transportation.
Also, emergency shelters will not take pets without carriers. Write the
pet’s name and your cell phone number on the top of the carrier, in
permanent ink. Include with the crate a three-day supply of your pets’
food and drinking water, as well as bowls, cat litter and a container
to be used as a litter box — your pet will need to be crated possibly
for several days.

If you do have to evacuate, take your pets with you. We learned from Hurricane Katrina and Rita. Don’t risk your pet’s safety and life.

This blog post will be updated with fresh news and information as we get it.