Prepare your pets for hurricane season
June 1st marks the beginning of hurricane season for the coastal states. The media does an excellent job covering any sign of a tropical storm or hurricane from the very first rain drop. As Floridians we are knowledgeable on how to prepare and take action if we have a power outage, survive without running water or in the worst case forced to evacuate.
But what about your furry family members? Are you prepared to care for your dog, cat or small critters for a few days or even weeks if a storm pummels through your town? What will you do if you have to evacuate and leave your pet behind? If you haven’t thought of a plan for them, now is the time!
Rule of thumb for hurricane preparedness (for humans):
- Know evacuation routes
- Understand your building codes (can it withstand hurricanes, strength of windows, storm shutters?)
- Stock up on non-perishable foods (canned & dry goods, bottled water)
- Batteries and flashlights
- Disaster kit including first aid kit, tools and various supplies
Now that you are prepared, have the same list available for your pet.
- Have a place your pet can go if evacuation is necessary
- Properly identify your pet. Update all microchip information, collar tags, and any other identification.
- Provide dry or canned food and a water supply to last for at least a week.
- Create a disaster kit specifically for your pet. Include first aid, any necessary medications, travel gear and waste clean up (paper towels, newspapers, cleaning and grooming supplies). The Human Society provide great ideas for a Pet Disaster kit.
- Have written documents on your pet’s routine, behaviors, habits or special conditions. If you aren’t able to get back to your pet, someone will be able to give them the proper care.
- Check out our previous post on our hurricane evacuation guide
In addition, living in a condo versus a standalone home can make a big difference for you and your pet. Typically mid and high rises are made to withstand gale force winds, rain, and flooding. Contact your Home Owners Association or Landlord to check the safety of the building. Staying put would be a safe option if encountering a low grade hurricane or storm, whereas Miami homes in certain areas are at more risk for severe flooding with the low water table.
That being said, be prepared to evacuate with or without Fido or Whiskers. Contact your vet or local boarding facilities and ask specific questions. Most vets or businesses in the area will have a hurricane procedure in place.
- Do they board cats or dogs?
- Does your pet have to be a patient before being kept at the facility?
- How far in advance do you need to reserve a space for your pet?
- What do you need to provide? Supplies (food, water, quantities?)
- How much will the service cost?
Following this list will give you a head start and keep you and your furry family members safe. The best news is you can prepare NOW! Do your research and you or your pets won’t be caught off guard this hurricane season. If you are evacuating or staying put through the storm, know the best option for you and your pet.