Most of us know that more than 1,800 people died in Hurricane Katrina almost nine years ago. What we may not know are the circumstances surrounding each individual casualty. For example, Fox News reports that more than sixty of those 1,800 people perished because they wouldn’t leave their pets behind. But casualty counts like the one above only tally up human victims. According to one estimate made by Marty Pagliughi, Director of Emergency Management for Cape May County, New Jersey, something like 100,000 household pets were lost in the flooding and destruction of Katrina. The Fox News article, “Beachside County Builds Hurricane Shelter to Save Pets, Encourage Evacuations,” is the second pet-related story I’ve come across in the last month or so (read the first, “Is Your Pet Safe?” an inspiring story of a former firefighter turned emergency pet rescuer). This recent Fox News article involves a county office in New Jersey that saw a problem to be solved in the numbers reported above. As the report puts it, “officials realized the absence of pet-friendly shelters was putting their residents in potentially life-threatening situations.” Cape May County’s solution? Dedicated mobile shelters equipped with power, water, heat, air conditioning, and space for 120 animals. The county currently has two of these facilities available and operating, and stations them near existing emergency shelters so owners can be near their pets. Other cities are recognizing the same need and putting facilities and programs in place. And in case you missed the previous pet post, here are a handful of helpful resources for your own emergency pet prep:
Stacey, thanks for the quick fix to the error of the number of deaths in Hurricane Katrina. However…1st paragraph, last sentence still reads: "…Fox News reports that more than sixty of those 18,000 people perished"… Keep up the good work you folks do. Just more careful editing…!
It seems like we put the comma in the wrong place! Thanks for catching this error. I will correct it right away.
Though Hurricane Katrina was indeed a terrible disaster, you mistate the death toll by a factor of ten. According to NOAA’s own report in 2005, "The death toll is now estimated as 1833, with several hundred people still listed as missing. Katrina was the third deadliest hurricane since 1900, being topped only by the Galveston
hurricane of 1900 (at least 8000 deaths) and the Lake Okeechobee Hurricane of 1928 (over 2500
deaths)." I believe in emergency preparation, but extreme statements don’t help anyone realistically prepare. I’m sure it was just an error. But in life or death situations, facts DO matter. Thanks for all you do. Report reference: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/reports/tech-report-200501z.pdf