With hurricane season in full swing, it is important for the pet owner to be prepared and plan prior to a major storm this summer. Natural disasters occur all over the world, and whether it be a flash flood, hurricane, tornado, or earthquake, you will need extra arrangements made to insure your pet’s safety.
Broward County, Florida Animal Care recommends that a Pet Survival Kit be prepared using a waterproof covered container. The kit should include:
- Food and water for 2 weeks
- Water and food bowls
- 2 weeks worth of any medications your pet may be taking
- A photo of you with your pet in the case of separation.
- Extra leashes and collars with ID tags
- Puppy training pads in case your dog cannot go outside due to severe weather
- Cleaning supplies
- A pet crate or pet carrier large enough for your pet to stand and turn around and pads
- Toys and/or blankets
- Copies of your pet’s rabies certificate and other health certificates
- Cat Litter and portable litter box (if necessary)
Besides an emergency kit for your pet, planning an evacuation route for you and your pet is crucial. When your family includes a pet, evacuating will involve extra planning. If you plan to stay nearby, check your local emergency shelter to see if they will accept pets. If they do, you will most likely have to pre-register in advance. If your local shelter does not accept pets, be prepared to check neighboring cities outside of the projected path of the storm. Finding pet friendly hotels or other accommodations well in advance of a natural disaster will help ease the stress.
Whether you plan on evacuating or staying at home, it is crucial that you don’t leave your pet alone. “Abandoning your pet is not an option,” emphasizes Lisa Mendheim, Public Education Coordinator, Broward County Animal Care. “It is cruel and against the law.”
In short, plan, plan, plan. Pay attention to the weather and plan ahead of time whether you will evacuate or stay home. Reservations at shelters, kennels, hotels and stables must be made in advance, so make your storm decisions early – your animals are depending on you.
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