What Every Pet Owner Needs to Know Before a Hurricane

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What Every Pet Owner Needs to Know Before a Hurricane


As hurricane season approaches, the safety of your furry friends should be a top priority. Dive into our essential guide, featuring the latest pet safety tips from Ready.gov, to ensure your pets are well-prepared and protected.

  1. Create a Comprehensive Plan

Start by making a detailed plan that includes your pets. Ensure you have a clear evacuation route and know pet-friendly shelters or accommodations in advance. Establish a buddy system with neighbors or family who can help with your pets in case you’re unable to do so. Ensure your pets are microchipped and that their registration details are up-to-date.

  1. Assemble a Pet Emergency Kit

Prepare an emergency kit specifically for your pets, similar to your family’s kit but tailored to your pet’s needs. This should include:

  • Food and water for several days, stored in waterproof containers.
  • Medications and medical records, also in waterproof containers.
  • A first aid kit tailored to your pet’s health needs.
  • Collars with ID tags, a leash, and a harness.
  • A carrier for each pet, marked with your contact information.
  • Sanitation supplies like pet litter and litter boxes, plastic bags, and household chlorine bleach for cleaning.
  1. Stay Informed

Keep updated on the latest weather alerts and emergency procedures through local news, weather apps, and national alert systems. Follow instructions from local authorities regarding evacuations and sheltering.

  1. Secure a Safe Space

Identify a safe area in your home where your pets can stay during the hurricane, away from windows and potential hazards. If evacuation is not possible, prepare a room with easy-to-clean surfaces to accommodate your pets.

  1. Practice Evacuation Drills

Conduct regular drills to ensure your pets are comfortable with emergency procedures. Familiarize them with their carriers and evacuation routes.

  1. Manage Anxiety

Pets can sense stress and may become anxious. Maintain a calm demeanor to help your pets stay calm. Include comforting items like favorite toys or blankets in their emergency kit.

  1. After the Hurricane

Once the hurricane has passed, carefully inspect your home and yard for hazards before allowing pets outside. Monitor their behavior for signs of stress or trauma and consult a veterinarian if necessary.

  1. Prepare for Larger Animals

If you have larger animals like horses or livestock, ensure they have identification and prepare additional resources such as trailers for evacuation. Consider evacuating these animals earlier to avoid last-minute rushes.

  1. Do Not Forget Your Pet Kennel
    For cats and dogs, ensure you have a sturdy kennel that provides safety and comfort. The kennel should be spacious enough for your pet to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably. For exotic pets, including birds, reptiles, or small mammals, prepare a transportable habitat that securely prevents escape. Label all kennels and transportable habitats with your contact information and any necessary care instructions. Taking this step ensures that you can quickly and safely evacuate your pets or move them to a safe area in your home during a hurricane, ensuring their safety and comfort during such unpredictable events.

By following these steps, you can ensure the safety and well-being of your pets during hurricane season. For more detailed information and additional resources, visit Ready.gov’s Pets and Animals Preparedness.


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