How you can prepare to protect your pet during a natural disaster
The National Oceanic Atmospheric Association predicts 3-6 major hurricanes could hit the U.S. this year.
With hurricane season in full swing, it is essential to be as prepared as possible to keep you and your family – pets included – safe should a natural disaster occur. You’ll also find these tips helpful to prepare for other types of severe weather or natural disasters, like tornados or wildfires.
Making some of the following quick preparations can keep your pets as safe as possible.
- Make sure your pets are always wearing identification tags. It is important to include your name, phone number and address on your pet’s ID tags to best aid in reuniting you with your pet should you become separated. It is also important to make sure your pet’s collar and tags are secured properly.
- Microchip your pet. Having your pet microchipped can be an invaluable tool in reuniting with them. Keep your pet’s microchip registered and up to date and keep their microchip ID number on hand. Operation Kindness microchips all pets before adoption. If you’ve adopted from us, just make sure your microchip is updated with your current contact information!
- Keep current photos of your pets to help identify them. Include photos that show any unique markings or features that could help quickly identify them. Make sure to have a couple of photos including one that help show you pet’s size.
- Make sure you have appropriately sized carriers to transport your pets. Should you need to relocate to seek shelter from a storm, it’s important that your pet came come with safely. They should be able to sit, stand and turn around comfortably inside any crate or carrier! It is also important that your pet is familiar and comfortable with their carrier so that they can load up quickly in an emergency.
- Stock up on your pet’s medications. If your pet is on any medications, plan to have a month’s supply on hand.
- Make sure your pet is up to date on vaccinations. Traveling with lots of paperwork may not be practical. Prepare by taking photos of your pet’s vaccine certificates and records so they are easily accessible on the go.
- Make a list of safe evacuation destinations. Compile a list of pet-friendly hotels, as well as potential friends or family members’ homes you can seek shelter from a storm at.
- Prepare a “Go Box.” We recommend packing a container, or “Go Box,” of all the essential items you may need in an emergency storm evacuation and preparing it as far in advance as possible. The box should include the following.
- A roll of paper towels
- A pet-friendly cleaner, like Nature’s Miracle or similar
- Trash bags
- Small poop bags
- A small bag of litter
- Litter pan
- Pet first-aid kit
- A pair of heavy-duty gloves
- A blanket
- Two towels
- Two bowls
- Can opener and spoon
- Food, canned and/or dry
- Gallon of water
- Pets’ medication and pill pockets, if necessary
- Keep your pets inside and secure your doors and windows. It is also a good idea to keep your pets contained in one space to make for an easier evacuation if necessary.
- Stay calm. The most important thing you can do for your pets during a natural disaster is to stay as calm as you can. By taking steps to prepare ahead of time, you can reduce your stress during an emergency.