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  • Writer's pictureJen Smith

hurricane preparedness: keeping your pets safe

Updated: May 29

Hurricanes are among the most devastating natural disasters, bringing powerful winds, torrential rains, and severe flooding. Preparing for a hurricane is crucial, and this preparation must include plans for your pets. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to ensure your pets remain safe and secure during a hurricane.

1. Create an Emergency Kit for Your Pets

Just like you would for yourself, assemble a pet emergency kit. This should include:

  • Food and Water: At least a week's supply of pet food and water.

  • Medications: Any necessary medications, with instructions for administration.

  • Identification: Updated tags and microchip information.

  • First Aid Kit: Basic supplies like bandages, antiseptic wipes, and any pet-specific medications.

  • Comfort Items: Familiar items such as toys, blankets, or bedding to reduce stress.

  • Sanitation: Litter and a litter box for cats, poop bags for dogs, and cleaning supplies.

2. Make a Pet Evacuation Plan

Identify pet-friendly shelters or hotels along your evacuation route. Not all emergency shelters accept pets, so it’s essential to know your options ahead of time. Consider boarding facilities or arrangements with friends or family outside the danger zone. Manatee County Hurricane Shelters

3. Ensure Proper Identification

Ensure your pets have proper identification at all times. Microchipping is a permanent form of ID that can help reunite you with your pet if you become separated. Keep your contact information up to date with the microchip company.

4. Keep Pets Indoors During the Storm

During a hurricane, bring your pets indoors. Create a safe space in your home away from windows, such as a bathroom or a utility room. Ensure the area is free of hazards, and make it comfortable with their bedding and toys.

5. Stay Calm and Provide Reassurance

Pets can sense their owner’s stress and anxiety, which can amplify their own. Try to remain as calm as possible and provide reassurance to your pets through gentle handling and a soothing tone.

6. After the Storm: Be Cautious

Once the storm passes, keep your pets leashed when outside. Floodwaters, debris, and displaced wildlife pose significant risks. Check your home and yard for hazards before allowing your pets to roam freely.

7. Monitor Their Health

Post-storm, watch for any signs of stress or illness in your pets. If you notice any changes in behavior or health, contact your veterinarian promptly.

Why Hurricane Preparedness is Important for Pets

Pets are family members, and their safety is just as important as human family members during a disaster. Pets left behind or unprepared for can face life-threatening situations. By including your pets in your hurricane preparedness plans, you can ensure their safety and well-being during and after the storm.

Proper preparation can make a significant difference in how you and your pets weather a hurricane. With a well-thought-out plan, you can face the storm with confidence, knowing you’ve done everything possible to protect your beloved pets knowing you’ve done everything possible to protect your beloved pets.


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