When hurricanes and natural disasters occur, having an evacuation plan for your pets is a must! A well thought out preparedness plan can make a big difference in keeping your non-human family members safe.
You can start by making a disaster kit for your pets. This can include medical records (including a copy of your pet health insurance and proof of vaccinations), medication, food, water, can openers, leashes, muzzles and carriers.
Below is a list of tips that have been put together from the Red Cross, ASPCA, the Humane Society of the United States and other animal welfare groups:
- Just with humans, have a hurricane, wild fire and natural disaster pet kit.
- If you smell smoke, hear of fires or see any signs of dangerous weather, bring your pet inside.
- Scared pets panic. Make sure they can’t escape.
- Keep a list of pet friendly hotels, motels, friends, family and shelters so you have a place to stay.
- Don’t wait until an “official evacuation” is announced. Leave early so you aren’t forced to leave your pets behind.
- If you do have to leave your pets behind, leave a note with your contact information so rescue teams can find you.
- Make sure pets have identification tags secured to them with your contact information.
- Stay away from windows, fireplaces and appliance. Keep pets out of the kitchen.
- When there is damage outside, confine your pet to keep them safe from destroyed property, power lines and flooded/burnt areas.
10. Never assume your pet can find their way home. A disaster can wipe out scent markers that pets use to get their bearings.