Almost everyone out there has some kind of pet now a days. These pets become a part of our family and just like family we would never put them in harm's way. So what happens when there is a hurricane around the corner and the hotel you planned to evacuate to doesn't allow animals?
To avoid this kind of dilemma you need a go to hurricane plan that you've created in advance. Below are some steps to take to make sure everything is in place way before the hurricane hits.
Tag And Microchip Your Animals
Microchipping might seem like a hassle but microchips have reunited thousands of owners with their pets. It is as simple as getting it when going to your vet's office for your pet's next check up. The average cost is a one time fee of $45.
Are you saying, well my pet has a collar? On the collar make sure all of your info is updated. This is great to have but collars can tear, break, slide off, and easily be taken off.
People pick up stray animals and believe them to be abandoned and without a microchip they will keep thinking this. Up to 8 million animals end up in shelters each year according to WebMD. Microchipping can reunite you with your lost animal.
Disaster Kit Already Assembled
Wherever you go you will need food and blankets for your animals. This should also include an extra collar and leash in case one breaks. If you dog is afraid of thunder and rain remember their thunder jacket or a heavy blanket to wrap them in. Make sure this is a part of your disaster kit. Prepare for at least a week.
The more afraid they are the more likely they are to run. Don't take chances on taking them out in an unknown area without a leash. Remember this is a unfamiliar situation for them and may cause them to be anxious and run.
Find A Safe Place Ahead Of Time
Like mentioned above, you don't want to arrive at your hotel or emergency shelter with your animal just to be told they don't allow pets. Call your local office of emergency management to confirm if animals are allowed and where. If they are not allowed at the shelters look for a hotel.
The Humane Society has provided a list of sites to find out which hotels have what policies:
Another option include reaching out to friends and relatives outside of the disaster zone. Ask if they could provide shelter for you and your pets.
Check out kennels or your vet's office to board them. These places will also have emergency plans in place if it becomes to dangerous to stay with the animals.
Ask about these plans and stay informed on whether your animal is moved or not. There are many kennels that have sister franchises in other cities they could recommend you too as well.
Plan For Your Pet If You Aren't Home
You are out of town on vacation or for work and a hurricane hits. Your animals are home being taken care of by a friend, animal sitter, or family. What are they supposed to do?
This needs to be discussed with anyone watching your animals during hurricane season. They need to know everything you know about what shelter you can take your animals to. Provide them with numbers and let your vet and kennel know you will be out of town and give them the name of the person watching your pets.
Hopefully the person watching your animals will take the initiative to seek shelter for the themselves and the pets but if they are unwilling to take your animals out of the disaster area then you need to know who can take them.
As seen above, get the person watching your animals to take them to a friend and relative who will take care of them. If this isn't possible get them to take them to your vet's office or to a local kennel that you trust and have researched already.
Don't assume that everyone knows what to do. Give them all the facts they need and this will give both you and them peace of mind.
Remember, a pet is a part of your family. They depend on you to take care of them and they love you unconditionally in return.
Do not leave them unattended during a disaster and think they will be ok. If it isn't safe for you then it is most definitely not safe for them.
Don't underestimate a hurricane and the damage it does. When your city says evacuate then do so. If there is not enough time then make sure your home is as safe as it can be.
Be informed and safe during this hurricane season. Your pets will thank you.