Tragedy and Heartbreak Change Evacuation Laws During Natural Disasters!
One of the remarkable realizations that came out of Hurricane Katrina was just how much everyone loved their pets.
When people were being evacuated, and boats and helicopters would come to rescue people from their homes, often people had dogs and cats and they wanted to bring their pets with them.
Unfortunately, in the main, rescuers had no guidance as to whether or not they were allowed to take pets. And, tragically, in most cased, rescuers refused to take them.
There was no policy, no directive. There were no federal guidelines that covered pets during natural disasters. So rescuers were winging it. They wanted people out and wouldn't take their pets.
So about 44% of the people stayed behind with their pets because they wouldn't leave their best friends, their family behind.
Because they refused to leave, many were lost in the storm, got caught in the floodwaters, dying in the aftermath, because they just could not bring themselves to leave their beloved pets.
Katrina survivor David Weber, had no choice but to leave his pets. They were running out of water and if he stayed they would have all died. So he made the heartbreaking decision to leave his two dogs and his cat with food and the little water he had left and placed them in the kitchen, praying he could get back for them.
He recalls, “The winds were howling…incredible…the water started pouring in. down the side streets, like tributaries. The water was rising about a couple of inches a minute. And I just watched it rise with that helpless feeling…saying “here we go…”
David spent a week in his flooded lower level 9th ward home with his two dogs and cat, before having to make the soul searing decision that offered them all the only chance of survival.
He and his pets were lucky. They were reunited.
This wasn't the usual case.
Story continues on the next page.