Our thoughts are with all those affected by the recent tornadoes in the South and Midwest. In the event of an emergency it’s important to have a disaster response plan in place for your family, companion animals, and feral cat colonies. Read our disaster readiness and response advice at http://www.alleycat.org/DisasterTips.

Keep in mind that feral cats are resourceful. The outdoors is their home, and animals tend to “sense” when severe weather is coming: they will seek safe places instinctually.

If you need to evacuate, bring your pets with you, but do not try to trap and contain unsocialized feral cats. Have a safe place to go ahead of time, and be sure to bring your emergency supply kits.

After the disaster has passed and it is safe to return, begin cleaning up the colony area, check feeding stations, and look for the cats in your colony. Don’t panic if the cats aren’t waiting when you get back—they can hide for days after severe weather. If any are missing, contact your local shelters and determine which agencies, if any, are on the ground in your area assisting animals.

We are reaching out to our Feral Friends Network members to provide assistance. If you or someone you know has been affected by the tornadoes in the South or Midwest request a list of Feral Friend Network members in your area at http://www.alleycat.org/FindFeralFriends.