Factoring your pet into your Disaster Preparedness Plan

Preparing your pet for hurricane season is as important as preparing the rest of your family and home. Simple tasks done in advance of the storm can help your pet transition during and after a storm much easier. While we provided you with some standard ingredients for a personal Disaster Supply Kit, pet owners should take these additional tips into consideration so that even the furriest family member is well prepared for hurricane season!

Before the storm
  • Make sure that your pet is up to date on shots, vaccinations and immunizations and obtain a copy of these records. Keep a copy in your Disaster Supply Kit.
  • Have a current photo of your pet.
  • Keep a collar with current owner contact information on your pet at all times. Have a leash, harness and/or muzzle on hand to control your pet.
  • Have separate carrier for each pet in your family. Properly sized carriers allow the pet to stand and turn around comfortably.
  • When preparing an evacuation strategy, keep your pets in mind. Have contact information for local vets, shelters and clinics on hand.
  • Remember family and friends out of harms way could be potential caregivers for your pet during hurricane season!
During the storm
  • Bring your pets inside well before the storm. If they are not accustomed to being indoors, reassure them and help them to remain calm.
  • If you are planning on taking your pet to a shelter, you should know many shelters require identification and rabies tags on the pet’s collar, identification on belongings, carriers/cages, leashes, water and food bowls, necessary medications and ample supply of food and water.
  • Animal shelters are typically filled on a first-come, first-serve basis so call ahead to determine vacancies.
After the storm
  • If your pet cannot be located, contact the local animal control office to find out where and how lost pets can be recovered. Bring a current photo of your pet along for identification purposes.
  • Monitor your pet’s behavior as they can become, aggressive, agitated and defensive after a disaster.
  • Walk your pet on a leash, even in familiar areas as landmarks and smells can changed, causing your pet confusion and disorientation. Also, debris, fallen power lines, high waters and other animals can pose a threat to your pet.

Thanks for this great photo of Ryder riding out the storm!