With hurricane season upon us, it’s important to take the necessary steps to prepare your pet for natural disasters. Whether it’s a hurricane, blizzard, flood, or other natural disaster, having a plan in place that keeps both you and your pets safe is imperative in a time of crisis.
Find a Safe Space: You should never leave your pet home alone during a natural disaster as they are at risk of getting hurt or lost. Instead, look for evacuation options that allow pets. Should you have to evacuate your home, have a list of shelters that are pet friendly. Not all shelters allow pets, so knowing where to go in a crisis saves a lot of time. Ask your veterinarian which local boarding facilities are in the area so you have some options in mind should you need it.
If you’re staying home during a storm, be sure to find a safe place within your house to stay with your pets. This could mean avoiding rooms with windows or going to the highest elevation in your house if you’re at risk of flooding. Wherever you decide to hunker down during a storm, make sure the area is clear of anything toxic or dangerous for you and your pet.
Have an Emergency Kit: Have a kit assembled with everything your pet could need for at least three days. This includes: food, water, a toy or two, blankets, any medications, first aid, and all of your pets’ information. The ASPCA put together a checklist of items to keep on hand should you find yourself in a crisis. Also keep a human emergency kit prepared as well. Food and water should be refreshed every six months to guarantee that nothing goes bad.
Identification: Ensure that your pet has some form of identification on them during a natural disaster. Microchipping your pet or putting a name collar on them will make it that much easier to be reunited with your dog or cat should you get separated. Make sure that the information is up to date and keep a copy of the microchip number for yourself.
If You’re Not Home: If you’re not home during an emergency, it’s important to have a plan so that your pet is taken care of. Placing an emergency sticker on your door or window will alert first responders of any pets that are in your home that are in need of assistance. Having a buddy system is also a great way to ensure that there is a plan should you not be home during an emergency. If you have a neighbor or friend that lives close by, talk to them about a plan to help your pet should something happen while you’re gone. You can also do the same for them should they own a pet as well.
You never know when you’ll find yourself in an emergency situation. Having a plan helps save you time and stress, which will keep you and your pets safe!