Pet Disaster Planning for Hurricane Season

Hurricane season in Palm Beach should not be taken lightly. Hurricanes such as Katrina, Harvey, and Maria have proven just how important it is to be prepared for a disaster. Disaster preparedness is even more important for your pets. When a hurricane is coming, your pets don’t have any way of protecting themselves. They rely on you to take care of them and keep them safe. Plan ahead using the below tips to prepare for hurricane season and to keep you and your furry friends safe.

Update Tags Evacuating can be chaotic, and pets often get loose during these hectic moments. Make sure your pet’s ID tags are up to date so you’ll be contacted if your pet gets lost. Of course, if your pet doesn’t have an ID tag, this is also the time to invest in one.

Choose a Safe Location Before a hurricane hits you should have a few locations selected where you can take your pet in case of a disaster. Ideally, you will bring your pet with you when you evacuate, but even that needs consideration. Not all hotels or shelters accept pets, so make sure your evacuation plan includes pet-friendly accommodations. You also need to check the emergency management site to see if the evacuation shelters in your area accept pets. Have a list of locations in your area ready to go where you know you and your pets will be accepted during an emergency.

Get Pets Vaccinated If you need to board your pet at the vet or shelter during an evacuation, your fur baby will need to have all of its vaccinations up to date. If all vaccinations aren’t current, then your pet will not be admitted into the shelter area. Ensure all of your pet’s vaccinations are complete before hurricane season so you don’t have to worry about them during an emergency.

Create a Pet Disaster Kit Emergency kits are essential during a disaster, which is why you should have one created for your pet. Have a kit ready to go with all of your pet’s necessary supplies. A few items you may want to have in your pet disaster supply kit include:

Medical record copies
First aid kit
Current photo (in case you’re separated from your pet)
1-week supply of food
Gallon of water
A small toy

Evaluate the needs of your pet to determine what else should go inside your pet disaster kit, then select a duffle bag or a sturdy tote bag to store all of the items in one convenient location. Place the bag next to your other hurricane emergency supplies so you can grab everything when you need to leave.

Plan for Different Situations You may have a plan in place for a hurricane when you’re home, but what if you’re out of town for the weekend? Don’t forget to plan for unexpected situations. If you’re not home and can’t make it to your pet, make sure you have someone you can contact in the event of an evacuation order. Give a trusted neighbor a key to your place and let them know where your disaster kit is stored so they can help during an emergency. Hurricanes are stressful for you and your pet but having a plan in place will make an emergency evacuation more manageable. 

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