Hurricane Pet Safety and Preparation
Hurricane pet safety is often overlooked. According to NOAA, about 40% of all hurricanes that hit the US strike Florida. With approximately 1,350 miles of coastline, perhaps that isn’t so surprising. While hurricanes are not a routine occurrence throughout the year, it’s important to be prepared for these events, along with the power outages and evacuations that often accompany them. Keeping your family safe is paramount, and that includes your four-legged family members. Too often, animals are left to fend for themselves in the midst of torrential rainfall, flooding, and high winds.
To ensure that your entire family stays together should a weather emergency occur, make sure you have a stringent plan in place. For standard (and important) pet safety tips, see below.
Making Sure Your Pet is Prepared
If you and your family plan to hunker down and weather the storm at home, take time to stock up on necessary items to ensure that your pet stays healthy and safe.
- Has your pet been vaccinated? If you have time, arrange for an appointment. Get them up to date, and be sure to keep a copy of your pet’s medical records and vaccine history in a waterproof container. You never know when you’ll need them!
- Have your pet microchipped. Collars can fall off, but microchips are forever. Do make sure to put your pet’s updated ID tags on their collar, however.
- Stock up on fresh bottled water and non-perishable pet food.
- Put together a pet first aid kit that includes roll gauze, non-stick bandages, hydrogen peroxide, cotton swabs, and tweezers.
- If your pet takes medication, stock up!
- Keep extra batteries and flashlights on hand, along with a portable radio so you can follow weather reports.
Planning to Evacuate?
Should you and your family decide to evacuate, remember to:
- Bring along at least a week’s worth of fresh water and food for your pet.
- Update your pet’s ID tags, keep them on a sturdy leash when they’re not indoors, and carry an extra leash (or harness) with you. If you have a small dog or cat, have a sturdy carrier with enough room for them to move around.
- Have a recent photo of your pet with you in case they go missing, along with their updated health records.
- Have a network of emergency contacts including family, friends, and animal shelters that are located out of harm’s way.
- Bring some clean towels and blankets for makeshift bedding if your pet needs it.
- Have temporary housing options for your pet (with family, friends, or shelters) available in case you can’t take them with you.
- Practice evacuation drills before any weather event takes place to help your pet get used to the experience and allow for a quicker exit when the time comes.
If you have other questions about hurricane safety and preparation, please call us at any of our 3 locations and we’ll be glad to assist you!