Our prior blogs and website resource page provide you with a template for thorough plans whether you endure a severe storm at home or seek shelter elsewhere. But for those of you who have pets, you need to plan for them too. And the time to do that is now.
What is best for pet owners is generally best for their pets. No matter whether you stay home or evacuate, it is best if you and your pets can stay together. If you evacuate, please leave time to prepare and take your pets with you. Pets left behind can be lost, injured or worse; they can escape into the nightmare of the storm. Never leave dogs outside tied or untied. It is a death sentence waiting to happen.
Contact the county emergency management office to find out where the pet-friendly shelters are.
Identify a trusted neighbor who is willing to take your pets and meet you at a prearranged location if the storm comes quickly. The person must be familiar with the “Pet Plan.” Pet sitters may offer this service.
Plan for lodging: Contact friends and family outside the hurricane path to find out if they can shelter your pets; contact animal shelters to find out if they provide emergency shelter or foster care; prepare of list of boarding facilities; create a list of “pet-friendly” – if there are pet restrictions, ask if they are lifted during an emergency. Go to https://www.petswelcome.com/ to search for pet friendly hotels and motels.
Prepare a pet emergency kit that includes the following and store in a place that has easy access and everyone knows where it is; do a trial run-through.
- Pet license/ID on collar or chip – one on the pet, one spare
- Proof of ownership and recent photo (take photo in mobile phone) of you and your pets in case you get separated
- Medical records and vet contact information
- Proof of rabies vaccine
- Medications and first-aid supplies for three weeks
- Carrier for each pet, ideally large enough to stand and turn around
- Leash, collar/harness, muzzle
- Dry/wet food for three weeks, food dishes and manual can opener
- Three weeks supply of water
- Litter pan, litter, plastic poop bags, training pads, litter scooper
- Pet beds, blankets, toys
- Paper towels, disinfectant, hand sanitizer
As the Storm Approaches
- Call ahead to confirm emergency shelter arrangements
- Bring all pets into the house
- Make sure all pets are wearing collars that are securely fastened and have up-to-date tags; attach the phone number and address of the temporary shelter using adhesive tape on the back of their ID tags or buy temporary tags
- Put the pet emergency kit by the exit you will be using
- Bring pets inside as soon as an emergency arises
- Close off nooks and crannies where a frightened pet may hide
- Put pets in safe, sturdy crates or carriers
- Have the pets within an arm’s reach
- Confirm your evacuation place with your contact person
- Pack your pet emergency kit
- Put pets in their crates and load into the vehicle
- Have water and bowls easily available in vehicle
Our pets are precious. They look to their owners for a safe and healthy life. Create your “Hurricane Pet Plan” now.