Do you have a hurricane plan for your pets? Even though hurricane season is June – November, the greatest chance of a hurricane is between August and October. I’ve lived here all my life and hurricanes don’t phase me, but I always worry about my pets. Even though we’re in the central part of the state we can still be hit pretty hard, just ask anyone who lived in Polk county several years ago.
Make a hurricane kit for your pets
Have supplies set aside in a place that will be easy for you to get to. Include everything that would be needed if you had to evacuate (see list below). Print a list with feeding directions, medication instructions, your name and contact information, emergency contact info of a friend or relative, out of the area if possible, your veterinarian’s information and any other relevant information about your pet.
Know where you can go
Red Cross shelters only allow service animals. Keep a list of pet friendly places you could go. Friends or family out of the area and pet friendly hotels out of the area are the best options. Do a google search for local shelters, there may be shelters in your area that accept pets. If evacuation seems likely leave early. Don’t wait until the weather is bad. The heavy winds, thunder, and even really heavy rain can be very frightening for pets, especially cats and it can be difficult to get them into the car and keep them calm. Leaving early will keep you calmer so your pets will be calmer. IF YOU EVACUATE, TAKE YOUR PETS! If it’s not safe for you, it’s not safe for them!
Riding it out at home
If you choose to stay home, make sure your pets are wearing their harnesses or collars and tags, Consider having your pets microchipped. When the weather starts to get rough secure your pets, puts cats in carriers and dogs in crates. If you don’t have a crate, put a leash on your dog. If a tree falls on your house the last thing you want is for a frightened animal to escape. Searching the house for 30 minutes or crawling under the bed to retrieve a frightened cat isn’t very fun either, especially in an emergency. Stay tuned to the news, if you’re told to evacuate do it immediately. The ASPCA recommends using pet rescue alert stickers on your windows. If you leave, write “EVACUATED” across the stickers so in an emergency rescue workers don’t waste time looking for pets that aren’t there.
Food for 3 days (can opener if needed)
Water for 3 days
Leash and harness
Crate or carrier
Litterbox and litter
Puppy pads for dogs
Current picture of your pet
Emergency contact information
Medical records if your pet has any health problems