Hurricane Safety for Pets
If you live in an area that is predicted to be impacted by Hurricane Irma, it is important to plan and prepare to ensure you and your loved ones are safe. But, it is also equally important to have a plan to keep your pets safe in a time of potential danger and chaos.
Locate Pet Friendly Accommodations
No one wants to leave their pet behind during a hurricane or natural disaster. It is important to have a plan for where you will take your pet in the event that you must evacuate your home. Before a storm hits, find a pet friendly facility to accommodate all your family members. If you plan on evavuating to a relative’s house, make sure they don’t mind if you bring your pet with you. If you plan on staying in a hotel, call ahead to make certain it is pet friendly. There are some shelters that will allow you to bring pets but it is important to confirm this beforehand so you and your 4-legged friend have somewhere safe to go.
The Humane Society of the United States recommends the following websites to find pet-friendly accommodations:
ID Tags and Photos
It is important to make sure your pet has a microchip and ID tag. If for some reason, they are separated from you or your family during the storm, a microchip and ID tag will help to make sure you are reunited as soon as possible. It is also important to have photos of your pets in case you need to search for them after the storm. This will allow the opportunity for more people to help locate and return your pet to you. You can talk to your vet about microchipping your pet.
Pet Emergency Kit
When a hurricane warning is announced, it is not only important to stock up on non-perishables and emergency equipment for you, but for your pet too. Create an emergency kit for your pet in case you are in a shelter or cannot leave your home during the storm.
What to include in an Emergency Kit:
• Any medications your pet may require
• A pet first aid kit
• Any pet medical records
• Water in plastic containers
• A two week supply of pet food
• A can opener (if your pet eats canned food)
• Grooming supplies
• Litter or newspapers
• Paper towels
• Plastic bags
• Your pets favorite toy
• A blanket
Returning Home After the Storm
Returning home after a storm can be overwhelming for all family members, including our 4-legged ones. Remember, your pet’s surroundings may look or smell differently. In those first few weeks home, it is important to walk your pet on a leash, rather than letting them outside on their own. This will help to ensure that they don’t become disoriented or lost in their “new surroundings”.
Locating a Pet Lost During the Storm
If you become separated from your pet during the storm, call your local animal shelters as soon as possible. They will be able to tell you where found pets can be identified and claimed. Remember, microchips and ID tags make it easier for rescuers to find you if they locate your pet.
As the storm approaches, we hope that everyone remains safe. These tips are just a few ways to help prepare you and your pet for the storm, but be sure to listen to your local media outlets for weather announcements, warnings, and calls for evacuation. Remember, planning and preparation are key to keeping you and your furry friends out of harm’s way.