FEMA establishes a Hurricane Florence rumor control website

With everyone preparing for the incoming hurricane, there have been false rumors being spread about evacuating procedures with pets.

To help combat this, FEMA has created a website to control false rumors about Hurricane Florence.

FEMA’s Twitter said, “During disasters, it’s critical to avoid spreading false information. Always check with official sources before sharing.”

The Rumor: There are reports all emergency shelters and hotels are required to accommodate pets for people who have evacuated.

That’s “fake news.”

FEMA said private businesses, such as hotels, are not required to accept pets. Not all shelters accept pets.

The agency recommends checking local media or contacting your local emergency management agency for shelters that do allow pets.

Service animals are not pets. The Americans with Disability Act generally requires hotels and evacuation shelters to accommodate service animals.

Pet-friendly shelters may have requirements and restrictions.

Check their requirements before arriving at the site.

Check out www.ready.gov/animals for more tips on evacuating with your pet.

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John Mangalonzo (john@localvoicemedia.com) is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.