Disaster Preparedness

Disaster Preparedness
30 May 2017

Hurricane season starts June 1st, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has predicted a more active season than normal. The 2017 season is expected to produce between 11 and 17 named storms.

Don’t wait for a storm to develop or for an evacuation to be called; now is the time to prepare for a potential disaster. Here are a few things you can do for your pet now to prepare:

1. Identify your pet.

All pets should wear collars with tags that include up-to-date information including your pet’s name, your telephone number, and any urgent medical needs. Your pet’s carrier should also be clearly labeled with this information.

However, collars can be removed and tags can fall off. A more permanent form of identification such as a microchip greatly increases the chances of reuniting with your pet in case you are separated. If your pet already has a microchip, take a moment to make sure the registration information is up-to-date.

2. Prepare an evacuation kit.

Once an evacuation is called, don’t waste time getting together the necessary documents and supplies. Even if you think you may be gone for only a couple of days, assume that you may not be allowed to return for several weeks. Have a kit already assembled. Your kit should contain:

  • A week’s supply of food (canned pop-top or dry food) and bottled water for each person and pet
  • Pet feeding dishes and water bowls
  • A traveling carrier for each pet
  • Litter and disposable litter trays for cats or disposable cage liners/newpaper for dogs
  • Liquid dish soap, disinfectant, and disposable garbage bags
  • Extra collar or harness as well as an extra leash
  • Copies of vaccination and medical records
    Your pet’s current vaccination due dates and past prescription information are available from our online scheduling portal.
  • At least a two-week supply of any medications your pet requires
  • Recent photos of your pets, including a picture of you with your pet to prove ownership

Make sure to store your kit in a cool, dry place, and replace food, water, and medications every two months.

3. Plan where you and your pets will take shelter.

Know the available shelters in your area, and identify where you will evacuate to if necessary. Remember, if it isn’t safe for you, it isn’t safe for your pets, so do not leave your pets behind. Pets can escape, become trapped, and be exposed to numerous life-threatening hazards. For public health reasons, many emergency shelters cannot accept pets. Find out which motels and hotels in the area you plan to evacuate to allow pets well in advance of needing them. Ask your veterinarian for recommendations on where to seek veterinary care in that area if needed.

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