Participatory Mapping for Disaster Preparedness: The Development & Standardization of Animal Evacuation Maps

Joanne I. White, Leysia Palen


People who own animals are faced with complex decision making in evacuations. In the US, the Emergency Operations Center is often inundated with calls from animal owners who are aware they are under pre- or mandatory evacuation, but are unsure of what to do about evacuating their animals. Often animal evacuation is a highly improvised activity for owners and responders, though there is a now a general push toward streamlining procedures because of the high impact the matter of animals has on society’s welfare during times of emergency. This paper reports on the use of participatory design methods in a mapping project to support the range of people involved in animal evacuation during mass displacement events. The work provides insight into both procedures and standards for creating evacuation maps that communicate clearly with the public and across the range of emergency responders.

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