With Hurricane Florence on the horizon, we thought it prudent to give you a tidbit of information on how to keep your pets safe during a state of emergency as well as what to do in the unfortunate event you become separated from your beloved pets.

In case you’re asking yourself, “Are there any laws about pet evacuation?” the answer is – YES! In 2006, the federal Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act (PETS Act, 42 U.S.C.A. § 5196a-d (2006)) was passed, which directs FEMA to develop emergency plans to ensure that local and state emergency plans take into account procedures for handling the rescue, housing, and safe recovery of pets and service animals during a state of emergency or major disaster. In North Carolina, the Department of Public Safety has included protocols and procedures for taking care of your pet in the North Carolina Emergency Operations Plan. In case you didn’t want to read all 462 pages of the plan, here are a few key points:

  • Pet owners are primarily responsible for the care and shelter of their pets during an emergency situation if they have the capacity to do so.
  • Emergency Response teams, in connection with County Animal Control and Animal Response Teams, will work to:
    • Assess the needs and numbers of affected pets;
    • Support animal rescue;
    • Support evacuation sheltering operations to place pets in existing or temporary animal shelters during the event; and,
    • Provide support to control wild and exotic animals.
  • Emergency Response Teams will work to ensure that your pet(s) are sheltered, fed, and cared for in the event they become lost or temporarily abandoned.
  • Emergency Response Teams will coordinate media response efforts, including hotlines for concerned pet owners to locate and reunite with their pets.

 Pets During a Hurricane

What Can You Do to Help?

At Fourscore Law, we recognize that pets are part of the family. As such, here are a few, non-legal, pointers to help you traverse the storm:

  • Establish temporary housing for your pets if at all possible – you would be surprised the number of friends, families, co-workers, or acquaintances, who would be more than willing to help watch your pet during a state of emergency.
  • Become a host – as part of the emergency operations plan, host families serve an integral part of the emergency preparedness. If you have a large backyard or home, volunteer to house a few pets in the event your County Animal Shelter needs help.
  • Donate Food and Supplies – most Animal Shelters are not normally equipped with the necessary food and medical supplies to support a massive influx of temporary pet residents. When you’re out at the store searching for bottled water, pick up an extra bag of dog food and run it by your local shelter.

For all of our clients, colleagues, friends, families, as well as any of our competitors in the Wilmington, Raleigh-Durham, or Outer Banks regions of North Carolina, as well as any of our neighbors in Virginia and South Carolina, stay safe out there! Our thoughts will be with you, and we’ll work to help you rebuild after the storm – including any pro bono services helping you reunite with your pet(s)!

Please note – the lawyers at Fourscore Business Law are experienced in business matters of many kinds, which give us the opportunity to be involved in tax discussions on a regular basis.  However, we are not CPAs or “tax” lawyers.  We have many great contacts and refer our clients to them when needed.  Please do not take the summary set forth in this article as tax or business planning advice!

Based in the Research Triangle region of North Carolina, Fourscore Business Law serves entrepreneurs and businesses in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Wilmington, Charlotte and throughout the Southeast. We also represent venture capital funds and other investors who invest in companies located in New York, Silicon Valley and everywhere between.The idea of delivering maximum impact in a simple and succinct manner is what we’re calling the Fourscore Principle. And that is what Fourscore Business Law is based on.  Our clients operate in a broad range of industries including tech, IoT, consumer products, B2B services and more. Questions? Shoot us an email or give us a call at (919) 307-5356. Your first call is on us.