Can it already be “Hurricane Season” again? Time is flying by. There are so many chores and checklists to prepare our homes and family for storm season.
With all of the hustle, the one thing that often gets overlooked is our pets –that is, until the storm is near. And by that time, it is often too late to research, gather and plan.
Questions that you need to answer without delay and firm a plan as a family are:
If you are usually asked to evacuate, what are our action plans for our pets?
If you stay home, where in your home is a secure area for your pets to ride out the storm?
If your home is breached, how can your pet survive safely?
When the storm is over, how will you manage, including how we will you manage your pets.
The following are suggestions that we have gathered from the ASPCA, the Humane Society of the United States and other respected government agencies on storm and hurricane preparations for your pets.
When Storm Season Starts:
1. This is the time to assure that your pet is healthy, up to date for Veterinarian visits and vaccines. If your pet is on medication or has storm phobias, this is the time to ask your Vet for medications for your Pet’s emergency supplies. Usually plan for an extra two week supply to be set aside. Most Vets understand and are happy to assist with this request.
2. Purchase an appropriate sized water tight bin for each animal to use as a Pet Disaster Kit. Use a thick marker like a Sharpie, to mark the outside of the bin with each Pet’s name. On a piece of wide Masking Tape, mark the date that you are putting these supplies together. Change this every year, so that you know the bin was checked, with supplies and food and rotated.
3. Invest in a good quality pet first aid kit. Print pet first aid instructions and if inclined to, spend a Saturday taking a local course in pet first aid and CPR.
3. Check each pet’s carrier or crate for integrity, which will be used to keep them safe during the storm. Line carrier or crate with a thick pad or towels for pet comfort. The choice of soft carrier vs hard carrier is obvious. Opt for the hard carrier for storm safety. Remember that your pet needs to be able to stand up and turn freely in their crate.
3. Remember to put aside at least 1 quart of water with your family’s supplies for each pet, per day. Water is not just for drinking but for pet care and bathing if necessary.
4. Purchase fresh food and favorite treats for each pet. The best guideline is to store a 2 week supply, for two meals per day for each pet.
5. Put together a pet portfolio for each pet that can be stored in a zip lock bag for water protection.
Portfolio should contain:
- Picture of your pet,
- Medical and vaccination history,
- Special instructions on feeding and caring for your pet,
- Pet microchip number and rabies tag number,
- Emergency contact information for you and for your Vet.
6. Supplies for emergency pet bin:
- Food and treats stored in airtight containers or cans.
- Medication bottles stored in airtight containers or zip lock bags
- Pet portfolio in a zip lock bag.
- Collapsible bowls for food and water
- Additional collar and leash with extra set of pet’s identification tags
- For dogs, a high visibility vest for medical condition or medication alert.
- For cats, as watertight Container for their collar with medical information and medications.
- For cats a prefilled disposable litter pan. Extra litter (stored in plastic bag) and litter scooper.
- A spare brush and flea comb
- Plastic knives and spoons for preparing food
- Paper towels
- Extra bath towel
- Diaper wipes
Keep all of your pet’s bins with your family’s emergency supplies and first aid kit.
When Storm or Hurricane is predicted for your area and you are remaining in your home:
1. Pull out your Pet’s Disaster Kit(s) and carrier
2. Prepare carrier for Pet. Set up in a walk in closet or bathroom close to the family.
3. It is recommended that you not tranquilize your pet unless advised by your Veterinarian.
4. Assure that your pet is well marked with tags and a high visibility vest appropriate for your pet.
When Storm or Hurricane is predicted for your area and your family evacuates:
1. Add your pet’s Disaster Kit(s) and carrier to items you are packing into your vehicle.
2. Prepare the pet carrier with bedding.
3. Mark your pet with their high visibility vest appropriate for your pet and that check their tags are securely on their collar.
4. If you are boarding your pet, leave their Disaster Bin and carrier with the staff. Instruct them to leave the high visibility vest on your pet for the duration and after the storm.
The importance of marking your pet with a SHONGear high visibility vest
If your pet runs out into the storm or your home is breached a high visibility vest will help others
- Strangers immediately recognize that your pet requires special attention : Blind, Deaf, Seizures, Diabetes, Special needs
- The dog carries your information so that he/she can be returned quickly to you
- Medicine and dosage is carried in the side Velcro pocket in waterproof containers.
- Information is also carried on their back so that a stranger does not need to reach in front of the dog’s mouth and risk a bite from a fearful animal.
Picture from www.SHONGear.com
We hope that you found this information helpful and that you and your pets make it through another storm season without an event.
It is our heartfelt wishes that no pet is ever lost during a storm when, with a little preparation and thought, staying together as a family stays our reality!