Family, Pets & Health

Families & Pets

Families with young children, people with special needs and/or elderly members are especially vulnerable to the effects of a disaster or traumatic event. Children will reflect the anxiety and other feelings of the adults around them and it may be more difficult to put these feelings into perspective because they lack the life experiences of adults.

Recent disasters have also shown that most people consider their pets as part of the family. Family members have been reluctant to leave pets behind when they need to evacuate and some people even refuse to leave which puts themselves and rescuers in further danger.

Planning before an emergency will help all family members cope and recover in a more positive way. There are many resources available that address issues that families may need to deal with if they are involved in a disaster.

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Health & Infectious Disease

Communicable or infectious diseases, the third leading cause of death in the U.S., are generally caused by viruses, bacteria or parasites and transmitted by direct or indirect contact through people, animals, insects, food, air, water, and even contaminated surface areas.

Each disease can be distinguished by its method of transmission, ease of contagiousness, how long the pathogen can stay alive and how dangerous the resulting disease is to the person or animal contracting it.

Disease terms

Outbreak – more disease cases than what would normally occur in a specific location or season.
Epidemic – increased cases of a disease that are spreading widely and rapidly.
Pandemic – an epidemic of infectious disease spreading between humans worldwide.

In this Section Online Resources