Do you live in an area affected by hurricanes? You may have an emergency plan for your family, but what about your pets? While the 2014 hurricane forecast from the NOAA Climate Prediction Center is a “near-normal” or “below-normal” season, they are still predicting at least 1 to 2 major hurricanes. Kathryn Sullivan, Ph.D., NOAA administrator says that “even though we expect El Niño to suppress the number of storms this season, it’s important to remember it takes only one land falling storm to cause a disaster.” Hurricane season started on June 1st and will last until November 30th. From microchips to having an emergency plan, here are some ways you can protect your pets during a disaster. Even if you don’t live in a hurricane affected area, these tips are useful in case of any emergency.
1. Have a Disaster Plan
Make sure you have a plan for getting your pets out of your home quickly and safely. Always have the carriers clean and ready to go. If your pet isn’t used to traveling in a carrier, try doing some practice runs, and also label each carrier with your contact information and your pet’s name in case you have to move to a temporary shelter. Pack plenty of water for your pets and extra water bowls. Pets can easily get dehydrated when traveling.
Microchips are an easy way to help locate your pet in the event that your pet gets separated from you during an emergency. These do not hurt the animal, and most shelters and veterinarians have the technology to read the chips. To learn more about microchipping your pet, click here.
3. Pet Evacuation Kits
Put together an evacuation kit with items that you know you will need for your pets. It’s also a good idea to keep a pet first aid kit in your car at all times. Here are some items that the Humane Society recommends, and don’t forget the Calming chews for stressed pets!
Evacuation Kit Checklist:
- 2-week supply of pet food and plenty of water
- Food and water bowls
- Leashes and harnesses
- Vaccination and medical records
- Emergency numbers (your regular veterinarian, etc.)
- List of pet-friendly hotels, shelters, etc.
- Directions for evacuation route
- Pet beds and blankets
- Toys and treats
- Litter and/or bags for cleanup
Pet First Aid Kit Checklist:
- Alcohol wipes
- Gauze and tape
- Cold pack
- Antibiotic ointment
- Latex gloves
- Wash cloth or towel
Make sure your pet’s vaccinations are up to date. Have them on hand and easy to access. Also make sure that your pets have some form of identification. You should get a tag for your pet’s collar from your vet when your pet is vaccinated.
5. Accommodations for Pets
Lastly, make sure you have a pet-friendly place to stay. A list of pet-friendly hotels and shelters is in the checklist above. But if there are none in the area, consider staying with friends or relatives. Just make sure they are okay with pets first.
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