Hurricane Preparedness and your Pet

1. Find out which evacuation shelters and/or hotels allow pets.

Many pet owners complain that they were turned away from evacuation shelters because they brought pets. Call your local officials and find out where you can take your pet before the storm hits. If you’re evacuating, make sure to call hotels ahead of time to make sure they’re pet friendly

2. Use a pet carrier and leashes.

One of the most important pieces of equipment you can have during an evacuation or severe weather event is a pet carrier for small dogs and cats and leashes for larger dogs. Carriers are required at many pet shelters and can serve as a safe space for a nervous pet. Be sure to label the carrier with your pet’s name, breed, sex, date of birth, your current address and contact numbers, and any important medical information.

3. Make sure you have at least two weeks of your pet’s medications on hand.

In the event that a hurricane strikes, make sure you have 14 days of prescription medications, as well as heartworm and flea preventives. It may be wise to administer their heartworm and flea medications before you leave since some pets may be exposed to fleas or other parasites while in evacuation shelters.

4. Pack your pets food and water

Place your pet’s meals into individual waterproof bins or bags. It is recommended to pack at least one week worth of food for each pet. Pack bottled water and bowls since clean running water may be limited after a storm hits. Many shelters will not have adequate food and water on hand for pets.

5.  Place an pet rescue sticker on your house windows.

In the unfortunate event you cannot evacuate with your pets, place a sticker or other identifying paper on your house windows to indicate how many pets you have in the home in the event they need to be rescued. You should include their names, ages, and breeds. You should also put your contact information on the sticker as well. 

6. Vaccines and Microchips

Make sure your pets are up to date on all their vaccines, especially Rabies since many shelters may require this for a pet to stay. A copy of their current vaccine status can be obtained from your veterinarian. It is also important to update your contact information with the appropriate microchip company in the event you and your pet are separated. If your pet is not microchipped, consider calling your veterinarian to schedule this. 

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