We love our pets! And when a hurricane is approaching, we have to include our pets in our preparation and plans. Never leave your pets behind to fend for themselves. They need you. Here are the top 7 tips for preparing for the needs of your pets way ahead of the storm.
Make sure your pet is updated on vaccinations. They may be exposed to diseases after a storm hits. They also will not be permitted into a shelter with you if they are not up to date on their vaccinations.
Prepare a portable pet disaster kit that includes everything your pet will need including food, water, bowl, litter & box, leash, medications, bed and toys. You should also include a phone number to contact you, a photo of your pet, and a list of any essential information, just in case your pet gets lost or separated from you.
If you plan to go to a friend or relatives to shelter during a storm, make sure they are willing to house your pets as well as you. If you plan to go to a hotel, plan ahead of time to find hotels that accept your pets.
Make sure your pet has identification so if they get lost in a storm or at a shelter, you can be notified.
Know where the shelters are for various types of pets if you can’t take them with you. There are shelters available for all types of animals. Call your local animal care and control center for information in advance of storms approaching so you can have a plan in place.
Make sure your pet is comforted as a storm approaches. Pet’s know when something is up and when you are stressed out and getting the house and family ready, be sure to comfort your pet. In most cases, this will help to comfort you as well!
Here are a few additional sources for preparing your pets:
Florida Disaster - Have a Pet Plan - the Florida Division of Emergency Management has great information for different types of pets and more.
Pet and Animal Emergency Planning - good detailed information for preparing for your pets.
Pet Evacuation and Pet Friendly Emergency Shelters - How to evacuate with your pet and find the right shelters.