hurricaneWe live in an area prone to hurricanes and natural disasters. Because pets are part of our family, we have the added responsibility of ensuring our pets are equally prepared for a natural disaster. No matter what the weather report says this week, it’s always a good idea to have a spare bag packed with food, water, and backup medication for your fur babies.

Hurricanes and other frightening experiences such as fires, floods, and tornadoes demand preparation and an acknowledgement of the possibility of the worst possible scenario. With our suggestions for pet preparedness, you can take control and effectively face the unpredictable.

Assemble a Kit

Pet preparedness involves a multi-fold approach. The first component is to assemble an emergency kit just for your pet. This should include the following:

  • Food (canned is best or dry food kept in an airtight container – mark expiration dates on your calendar)
  • Bottled water
  • Bowls
  • Treats
  • Litter and small litter box
  • Puppy pads
  • Waste bags
  • Can opener
  • Comfortable and/or warm bedding and cushions
  • Medical records (including vaccinations, microchip information, and prescriptions)
  • Medications
  • Travel kennel
  • First aid kit
  • Hand soap or sanitizer
  • Wipes
  • Grooming tools
  • Extra leash and collar
  • Fairly recent printed photo of your pet
  • Flashlights

Don’t Forget Me

Another extremely important element of pet preparedness is microchipping. If your pet hasn’t been microchipped, please know it can make all the difference if you’re ever separated from each other. A major storm or natural disaster can result in lost or missing animals, and this simple procedure adds another level of safety.

Where to Go?

If you’re ever forced to evacuate your home, do not leave your pet behind. Most emergency evacuation shelters have restrictions when it comes to pets, making it impossible for you to stay there. In advance, set up where you might be welcome, such as a friend or relative’s house outside the evacuation zone. Similarly, call around to local hotels to see if your pet would be welcome to stay.

Pet Preparedness and Safety

To boost your pet preparedness and safety capabilities, we offer the following tips:

  • As soon as you know a hurricane or other inclement weather is coming, make plans to evacuate with your pets.  Do not leave your pets behind.
  • If you are not evacuating: Bring your pet in from the outdoors, crating if necessary. Do not leave your pets outside to “ride it out.”
  • Stay calm with the understanding that your pet will reflect your own state of mind.
  • When the storm passes, be aware that the ground will be covered in debris, some of which may be dangerous for your pet to walk on. Also, do not allow your pet to approach downed power lines.

Be Prepared, Stay Calm

If we can help you with pet preparedness, we hope you’ll let us know. We’re always here for you and your pet, whether there’s a threat of a natural disaster on the horizon, or you have questions about what to do–just in case.