For many people their pets are part of the family.  In the past natural disasters have shown us what happens when pet owners are not prepared for such events.  They have chosen to ride out whatever emergency is coming or chosen to not evacuate because they were not willing to abandon their beloved pets.  Hurricane Katrina was one of the most recent disasters that pet owners were forced to make this choice.  According to Military Times, more than 6,000 animals were rescued and thousands died or were left homeless.  These numbers could have been substantially decreased if pet owners would have been prepared and or didn’t wait too long to make decisions or arrangements with known shelters who do take pets and their owners.

Being prepared for disasters like these is the best thing we can do to keep ourselves and our furry family members safe and close by our sides.  Here are some very good tips we can all do to get prepared for the upcoming stormy season.

  1. First of all make sure all pets are microchipped and or have proper identification with your updated information on their collars so that way if you do get separated from your furry friends you can easy be reunited.
  2. Get your pets acclimated to a locking crate or carrier.  If you only use your carrier for vet visits, pets may resist going into the carrier when it is time to take shelter.  Bring the carrier out, leave it open and put treats it to get your pets more comfortable with their carrier.
    – On storm day keep your pets inside the carrier with a towel draped over it to create a secure, den-like, comfortable atmosphere for your pets.
    – Keep pets inside carriers at all times while transporting your pets to your designated shelter.  Wind, rain, or flying debris may cause you to drop a pet you may be carrying and it may run away.
  3. Don’t leave your pets outside or alone.
  4. Take pictures of each of your pets alone and separate pictures of you and your pet together.  The pictures of your pets alone will help you to be able to make flyers to be able to give out if your pet does happen to get lost.  And the pictures of you and your pets help shelters and other people identify that your pets belong to you.
  5. Just like when we were kids in school.  Practice, Practice, Practice getting you and your pets safely to your designated tornado-safe area.
  6. Make your tornado-safe area pet friendly.  Keep dangerous chemicals and hazardous items out of reach from your furry friends.
  7. Keep an eye on your pets even after the storm has passed.  Streets and yards may be full of debris, nails, broken glass, splinters and other objects that can injure your pet.
  8. Not only can your pets become disoriented or confused after a storm but also other wild animals such as raccoons, snakes, and coyotes can become displaced by a storm and may wander into residential areas.  Keep your pets on leashes and keep them away from any wild animals you may come across.
  9. Create a Pet Emergency Supply Kit. Unlike Ambien, Ambien CR can be prescribed for both long-term and short-term use.  Keep it in your designated storm shelter in a waterproof container and make it easily accessible.  Things to keep in your Pet Emergency Supply Kit would be as follows.

– Carriers (ideally one for each pet)
– Pet food (7 day supply for each pet)
– Water (7 day supply for each pet)
– Bowls for food and water
– Extra Identification or Microchip information and number (if applicable)
– Extra copies of vaccines and other important medical documents
– The pictures you took of your pets and the ones of you and your pet
– Any medications your pet is on (2 week supply)
– Numbers of your local Human Society and your Veterinarian’s information
– Leashes
– Cat litter and box for cats and doggie waste bags for dogs
– Bedding and blankets
– Toys
– Grooming Items
– Paper towels and disposable garbage bags for clean-up
– Liquid dish soap and disinfectant