Hurricane Preparation For Your Pets
Pre-season preparations for a hurricane should include your pets and today I wanted to provide some guidance/tips on how to do this.
In addition to the common sense items such as food, water and medications, there are other things you should think about when building a hurricane kit for your pet.
1. Identification tags with your pets name and your phone number that is attached to a collar they will wear during the entire event.
2. Rabies/County/City license tags that are attached to a collar they will wear during the entire event.
3. Microchip: If your pet isn’t micro chipped, you may want to consider doing this. One important note is to update any information with the microchip company if they already have one.
4. Vet records: Make sure you have a copy of your pet’s vaccination records in your evacuation kit.
5. Proof of Ownership: Copies of registrations, adoption paperwork, and microchip information all should be included in your evacuation kit. Recent photographs should also be included. One important note is to include a photograph of yourself with your pet in case you are separated to demonstrate proof that you are owner of your pet.
6. Written Instructions for the following: Diet – how much to feed each pet and when along with any special diet requirements; Medications – list each pet and their medications separately. Include dosage and frequency; Emergency Contacts – Your regular vet phone number and address, emergency vet number and address, a friend or relatives name and address.
The basic supplies for your pet:
2 week supply of water and food. (Don’t forget a can opener for canned foods). Also, tap water could be contaminated after a storm and this could harm your pet as well. So make sure you have clean water (bottled water or from water containers from http://www.mywatersafe.com/).
Collar, leashes, harness, favorite toys/blankets, treats, kitty litter, litter pan, muzzle, water and food dishes, paper towels, trash bags, travel crate/carrier (be sure to label with your name, pet’s name and your contact info)
If staying at a hotel isn’t an option, then ask people outside your immediate area if they would be able to shelter you and your pets or even just your pets. If you have more than one pet, you may need to arrange to house them at separate locations.
Bottom Line – DO NOT abandon your pets at home if you have to evacuate – I cannot stress this enough!
Is your dog fearful or get stressed out by severe weather? Check into the “Thunder Shirt”. I have never tested the product myself, but the reviews from others have been good. The website for the “Thunder Shirt” is http://www.thundershirt.com/ .
Do you have horses? If a hurricane or other severe weather is approaching, write their names on their sides (with a livestock marker), along with your name and phone number. Also, don’t leave a halter on them because if it were to get hung up on something, they could hurt themselves, or worse.
For those of you with reptiles and birds: Have a travel cage or carrier for them and if you have to evacuate to another state, check to see if your reptile/bird is legal in that state. Different laws in different states.
Other Preparation Tips:
1. If it is at all possible, store more than two weeks of food for your family and your pet(s). Canned food would be best. The reason why is that canned food has its own waterproof container and dry food can contaminate. In addition, dry food should be stored in a low-humidity environment which probably will not be possible during and after a hurricane due to power outages.
2. Place medications, records, rabies certificates, and so on, in a good quality, double seal, zip lock freezer bag. If you have a vacuum sealer, that might even be better.
3. If you have to evacuate with your cat(s), make sure you pack plenty of cat food, cat litter and plastic grocery bags for litter disposal in addition to meds and papers. One tip: Aluminum foil turkey roasting pans can make for good emergency litter boxes.
4. If you are evacuating inland with your pet(s), make your reservations EARLY. Hotel/motel rooms are sold out quickly once those watches and warnings go up and pet friendly rooms aren’t as plentiful as regular rooms.
Finally: I want to stress again that if you have to evacuate, please bring your pets with you and do not leave them behind! If it isn’t safe for you, it isn’t safe for your pets. Pets left behind in a disaster can easily be injured, lost or killed.