- Know which accommodations along the evacuation route will accept your family and pets. Call ahead for reservations if an evacuation is likely, and even ask if a hotel is prepared to waive its no-pet policy for the emergency.
- Many shelters do not accept pets due to health and safety concerns, but service animals may be permitted. Find out.
- Know which boarding facilities, veterinarians, animal shelters, and even friends and relatives who are not in the path of danger could care for your animals in the event of a severe storm.
- Include your pets when you practice your evacuation drills so that they get used to being carried around in their carriers.
- Ensure that vaccinations are up to date and that all pets are wearing collars with identification and contact details.
- Consider microchipping your pet.
What to Do When the Storm Approaches
- Storm warnings are usually issued in advance. At the first sign of an approaching storm, act to protect your animals.
- Call your preferred shelter, friend, or relative, to confirm arrangements.
- Make sure your family pets have their collars on and are securely fastened.
- Put together a pet disaster supply kit to take with you.
- Bring pets indoors, and even crate them, so you won’t have to search for them in the event that you need to leave in a hurry.
After the Storm
- A pet’s behavior can change after a disaster, so be aware of their well-being and do what you can to protect them from further hazards.
- Keep animals under your direct control because gates and fences may have been damaged by the storm.
- Be aware of hazards at paw and nose level, like spilled chemicals, debris, and other substances that are poisonous to animals.
What to Include in the Emergency Pet Kit
Assemble a portable kit with necessary supplies for your pets. Your kit can include:
- A first aid kit
- Sturdy harnesses, leashes, and carriers for safe and easy transportation
- Medications and copies of their medical records
- Drinking water, food, bowls, and cat litter
- Pet toys and beds, if you can transport them easily
- Current photos of your family pets in case you are separated
- Information on medical conditions, feeding schedules, and your vet’s contact details in case you have to board your pets
Pets Are Part of the Family, Too
Our pets are more than just that, they are family, and like the rest of your family, they deserve to be protected and cared for. The best way to ensure your pet’s safety during a storm is to be prepared for when disaster strikes.