PUSHING THE ENVELOPE, INC.
Your pets are a part of your family, which means they should be a part of your emergency plan too. As hurricane season is upon us, are you prepared to weather the storm with your furry friends? Natural disasters can be hard to predict, but with storms that are forecasted well in advance – such as hurricanes – it’s important to keep yourself safe as well as your furry companions. Here are several ways to prevent loss and injury to your animal during a disaster.
During any storm emergency, it is important to make sure that the animal has proper identification. This includes keeping the animal collared with your phone number and up-to-date identification tags at all times, as well as having a microchip implanted. In the case that your pet does end up being separated from you during the storm, the chances of being reunited increase when the animal is both chipped and collared. A veterinary clinic or shelter can scan the chip if an individual ends up bringing in your lost pet, but if a collar is also present on the animal then that individual will be able to call you directly once the pet is found.
Create a Check List
As you would for yourself, be aware of items your pet will need during an emergency situation. A few items you may want to store are:
- Pet food
- Jugs of water
- Mechanical can opener
- Food dishes
- Veterinary records
- Crate or carrier
- Recent photo of pet
- Spare collars and harnesses
- Paper towels
- Kitty litter and pan
- Disposable doggie bags or garbage bags
- Medications (if any)
- Pet first aid kit
With all of the new scents, sounds, and commotion, your pet may get scared of its changing surroundings. Close off any unsafe areas of the house where your pet may try to hide, move any dangerous and unstable items out of reach, and place both the animal and pet supplies into the designated safe room. Make sure to keep all animals inside when danger hits, and for safety, keep cats in carriers and dogs on leashes.
If you don’t believe the area is safe for you, then the area is also not safe for your pet. In the case of evacuation, you should know where you’re going ahead of time to make sure that your destination is pet friendly. Always call ahead to make sure the hotel, motel, or emergency shelter is willing to accept pets. Never assume! It is hard to determine the length of time you will be gone during an evacuation, and if you are aware of a natural disaster on its way, make sure to leave before emergency officials reach you. Many officials will require owners to leave their pets at home and this can cause a difficult and stressful situation for you.
For more information on storm preparedness for your pets, give us a call at (239) 332-0364 or visit HumaneSociety.org/DisasterPlanForPets.