We are now in the midst of Hurricane Season and this next week we will have the first of what could be many storms to have hit our area. Tropical Storm Erika is on her way and we want to make sure that you and your pets are ready should you need to take action. This blog will shadow a lot of what we talked about in the Fire Safety Blog but it is more of a replication because they are both collectively filed under Disaster Preparedness. So lets get into it!
Make sure to have a location away from your area/home that you can evacuate with your pets. Make sure to look up hotels and/or check with a family or friend that lives out of what could potentially be harms way. Not all Red Cross evacuation centers take pets so make sure to do your research!!
You must have each pet assigned to each person in the home (We recognize that this may be a lot more difficult for a single person with multiple pets, in this case try to keep everything needed together as much as possible). You may also make another person in charge of grabbing the emergency necessities for the pets and have them all gathered together in one area (example: In a Rubbermaid type of tote). It is recommended that each pet is in an individual crate/carrier but depending on the size and pets this can change. You have to be the judge, as long as they are kept safe and comfortable!
Make sure that your pet is microchipped!!!!!!!!!!! We cannot express this enough. Any and all pets should be microchipped, they are inexpensive and have been what has brought pets and families back together in natural disasters! Check every few months or so (or if your information has changed) to make sure that all of the information on the tag is current. You may also want to add secondary information should you and your pet get separated for an emergency out of area family member or friend. If you are unsure of what microchip your pet has please give a call to your local Veterinarian.
This kind of goes along with finding a place to evacuate too. Find and know the evacuation route!
Now what to keep for your pets should there be a hurricane evacuation:
Food both canned and dry. Especially if your pet is on a special diet! (Make sure to rotate this out every so often so that it does not spoil)
Medication that your pet is on or may need (Again rotate this out every so often so that it does not expire)
Extra harness or leash for each pet
Carrier (as stated earlier, it is preferred for each pet to have its own carrier. You make the best decision for your and your pets safety and comfort)
Blankets and Toys
Litter box/Litter/Scoop for your felines
Food and Water Bowls
Bottled water for at least a week for each pet
Poop bags/Garbage bags
Pets records in a water safe container
etc……….You know your pets more than anything else. If there is something that you know that they would need or want and it doesn’t put a burden on your evacuation then make sure to bring it but have it ready with the rest of your emergency kit, do NOT go back for misc. items!
Make sure to have a visible rescue alert sticker on your windows listing each pet, whether it is feline or canine, etc. So that if you are unable to make back to your pet and the area is evacuated then the rescue crews will know that pets do in fact live in your home.
A big point to make is to also have all of your emergency paperwork and necessities right along with your pets. That way you go to one spot in a particular area (garage maybe) and all you have to do is just load it all in the car and you are on your way. Most importantly please be safe this hurricane season!!!