disaster preparedness for petsAlthough hot weather safety is often the main concern during the summer, this time of year also brings some of the most raucous of storms our way. From hurricanes to tornadoes to flooding, there are some natural disasters that may come your way no matter where you live.

For most families, knowing what to do in the event of evacuation has been a topic that’s come up before. For families with four-legged members, additional planning and consideration is needed – specifically, emergency preparedness for pets.

Preparedness for Pets: Before the Storm Strikes

Being prepared is the name of the game in any emergency situation. This means making a plan that will also accommodate your pet during bad weather or during an evacuation.

In your plan, you will want to include:

  • Name and contact information of veterinarian and emergency clinics
  • List of pet-friendly lodging options (in the event of evacuation)
  • List of emergency supplies, including a pet first aid kid
  • The basics of how to respond during different types of emergencies

Although your list of emergency evacuation supplies will change depending on the circumstances, many pet owners keep the following items at the ready should disaster strike:

  • Copies of medical records and medications
  • Crate or carrier (with contact information on the outside)
  • Leash, collar, and current ID tags
  • Stash of food, water, and extra set of unbreakable bowls
  • Extra waste bags or litter box and litter

During an evacuation, many pet owners don’t realize animals are not accommodated at emergency shelters, leaving thousands of pets abandoned at home or lost on the street. Be sure you have a list of all the pet-friendly friends/relatives, hotels, and kennels in a 100-200 mile radius.

Keeping Your Pet Safe and Calm During Severe Weather

With loud noises, escape risks, and the elements to contend with, severe weather can present some pretty scary scenarios for pets. The following safety measures aim to prepare you and your pet for potentially severe weather, including high winds, thunderstorms, and hurricanes:

  • Do not leave your pet outside – bring him or her indoors prior to the onset of predicted inclement weather.
  • Many pets panic during a thunderstorm or other loud event. Talk to us for tips on how to handle noise anxiety in pets.
  • If you have not had your pet microchipped, now is the time. This simple procedure can help reunite you and your pet should you become separated. If your pet is already microchipped, be sure the information is up to date.
  • If your pet has fears about being transported, talk to us about how to address travel anxiety and how to use crate training methods to ensure your pet’s comfort and safety.
  • Have your family (including your pet) run through a few practice scenarios for each potential emergency (fire, flood, etc.).
  • Severe weather, including flooding, can create dangerous breeding grounds for downed electrical wires, currents, and infectious diseases. Take care to keep your pet indoors until things return to normal.
  • Know which pet emergency facilities are nearby in the event of an injury or illness outside of our normal business hours.

Although we cannot anticipate every natural disaster or dangerous storm, knowing what to do in the event of one can make a big difference for your whole family – two and four-legged members alike. Please contact us with any other questions or concerns.