Seasonal Tip: Hurricane Preparedness
As September heralds in hurricane season, it is essential that you have a well-thought-out plan to keep your pet safe. Get ready as early in advance as possible so you can make quick decisions and anticipate last-minute changes. Include the following in your preparedness plan:
- Make sure your pet is wearing an updated identification tag, and has a registered microchip. Having both of these forms of ID on your pet is important, because if your pet gets lost, whoever finds them may not have a means of scanning for a chip. If you can, include your cell phone number on your pet’s tag.
- Put together an emergency kit that includes the following:
- Fresh food and water that will last your pet at least 5 days.
- Your pet’s medications (if they have them) and up-to-date medical records kept in a waterproof compartment with a first aid kit.
- Garbage bags, litter, a litter box, and a scoop to collect and dispose of waste.
- A secure pet carrier, sturdy leash and/or harness. Include bedding and warmth (if seasonally appropriate) for your pet’s carrier to keep them as comfortable as possible, especially if they need to remain in the carrier for hours at a time.
- Recent photos of you with your pet to show to people in case your pet goes missing, and to prove that your pet belongs to you.
- Information for feeding your pet and administering their medication and the number of your primary veterinarian in case your pet has to be boarded.
- Have a safe destination picked out in advance. You may not be able to take your pet to an emergency shelter, so find out if they can be evacuated from the area with you, and if there are any pet friendly hotels and motels outside of the evacuation zone. It also helps to ask establishments with a “no pets” policy if they can take pets in an emergency situation. Have a list of possible places you can stay with your pet ready so you can contact them when the need arises.
- Arrange for a friend or relative to shelter your pet.
- Never leave your pet behind—if a disaster situation won’t be safe for you, then it won’t be safe for your pet, either.