My heart goes out to all those in Florida and the South Atlantic today and they are all in my prayers.
When you hear about people who have not evacuated, consider that some of these people are people who can't go to shelters because they are taking care of animals. Dogs, cats and others that are not allowed in shelters and horses that are not only difficult to move, but regulations sometimes prevent movement. To move a horse from Florida, they need a current Coggins test, which takes a veterinary visit and up to 30 days to get a health certificate. Moving a horse doesn't simply involve getting it in a trailer and moving, it requires much more logistical planning.
I'm sure University of Florida Veterinary School will probably be offering ways to help the animals, I will keep everyone posted. Not only do we need to worry about the movement of the hurricane with weather damage, scientists have also said there is a possibility the Zika mosquitoes can move north with the hurricane, as well as all the animals moving north (One of the un-publicized effects of Hurricane Katrina was a real increase of cases of Heartworm Disease in places of the country that had never really had it before because of all the animals rescued from the South and transported to other parts of the country). I just received a notice that ScrewWorm, a tropical disease that effects dogs is now in the Florida Keys, hopefully this hurricane will not increase disease in either humans or animals.