Hurricane Safety Tips for Pet Parents
Hurricane Florence made landfall in North Carolina on Sept. 14 as a Category 1 hurricane. While it has since been downgraded to a tropical storm, residents in the Carolinas are still threatened by flooding and power outages.
Of course, it’s not just humans who are in danger when natural disasters strike. Pets can also be displaced, injured and even killed. Thousands of animals were left behind in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, and approximately 600,000 pets died or were lost during Hurricane Katrina.
While hurricane season is almost over, it’s never a bad time to brush up on emergency preparedness. To ensure your entire family (including the four-legged members) remain safe during emergencies, here are a few key safety tips to keep in mind.
1. Identify Pets
According to the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, less than 25 percent of dogs that end up in shelters are successfully returned to their families. Micro-chipping is the most effective way to ID pets, but at least make sure your cats and dogs always have a collar and ID tag.
2. Find a Pet-Friendly Shelter
If you need to evacuate, you should have a secondary location set up that you know accepts pets. Not all shelters or hotels allow non-service animals. Ask your veterinarian for boarding recommendations and do your research well in advance.
3. Create an Emergency Kit
Always keep a go-bag ready in case you need to leave quickly. It should be filled with fresh pet supplies, such as sealed food, bottled water, leashes, bowls, blankets, treats, medications and toys.