Hurricane Preparation–Do not Forget your Pets

Hurricane Preparation--Do not Forget your Pets

It is officially peak hurricane season, and as you pack your bags and get ready, plan for your pet(s) too.   We put together a simple list so that you are ready if the time comes:

  • Make sure all pets wear collars and tags with up-to-date identification information. Your pet’s ID tag should contain his name, telephone number and any urgent medical needs. Be sure to also write your pet’s name, your name and contact information on your pet’s carrier.
  • We recommend all pets be microchipped as a more permanent form of identification. A microchipped can be read by a scanner at most animal shelters and animal hospitals. If your pet is microchipped , be sure to verify that the information on file is current, ie: owners name, address, phone numbers, etc.
  • Always bring your pet indoor at the first sign or warning of a storm or disaster. Pets can become disoriented and wander away from home in a crisis.
  • Store a pet emergency kit and leashes as close to an exit as possible. Make sure that everyone in the family knows where it is.
  • The pet emergency kit should contain:
    • A traveling bag, crate or sturdy carrier, ideally one for each pet
    • A 2-week supply of all pet medications
    • 3-7 days’ worth of canned (do not forget the plastic lid) or dry food
    • 3-7 days of plastic poop pick up bags
    • Litter or paper toweling
    • Liquid dish soap and disinfectant
    • Disposable garbage bags for clean-up
    • Pet feeding dishes and water bowls
    • Extra collar or harness as well as an extra leash
    • Copy of pet’s vaccine information/medical history
    • At least seven days’ worth of bottled water for each person and pet (store in a cool, dry place and replace every two months)
    • Extra flashlight
    • Blanket
    • Recent photos of your pets (in case you are separated and need to make “Lost” posters)
    • Especially for cats: cat carrier, pillowcase, toys, scoop-able litter, disposable litter trays (aluminum roasting pans work too!)
    • Especially for dogs: dog crate or carrier, extra leash, toys and chew toys, a week’s worth of cage liner
    • Especially for small animals, such as hamsters, gerbils, mice, and guinea pigs:  secure transport carriers with bedding materials, food and food bowls, salt lick, extra water bottle, small hide box or tube, a week’s worth of bedding.
    • Especially for Birds:  a carrier with a perch, spray bottle to periodically moisten your bird’s feathers, photos of your bird, timed bird feeder if you need to leave your bird unexpectedly, catch net, heavy towel, blanket or sheet to cover cage, cage liner.
    • Especially for Reptiles:  a snake may be transported in a pillowcase, but you should have permanent and secure housing for him when you reach a safe place, a sturdy bowl that is large for your pet to soak in, heating pad or other warming device, such as a hot water bottle.
  • If you must evacuate, arrange for a safe place for your pets.  DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND. Remember, if it is not safe for you, it is not safe for your pets. They may become trapped or escape and be exposed to numerous life-threatening hazards. 
    •  Not all shelters accept pets, so call ahead to be sure.
    •  To find a place for your pet, you must call ahead:
  • Contact us or your veterinarian for a list of preferred boarding kennels and facilities.
  • Ask your local animal shelter if they provide emergency shelter or foster care for pets.
  • Identify hotels or motels outside of your immediate area that accept pets.
  • Ask friends and relatives outside your immediate area if they would be willing to take in your pet.

We hope this list helps you prepare your pets for a hurricane and the potentially lengthy aftermath.  Have enough non-perishable food, water and supplies on hand for at least 3-7 days.  If you must evacuate, even if you think you may be gone for only a day, assume that you may not be allowed to return for several weeks.

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