Hurricanes occur seasonally during the Atlantic Hurricane Season between June and November on the US’s Eastern parts. Areas susceptible to these extreme weather conditions, like Broward County, Florida, need to have a plan of action and prepare for disasters. Families with pets must also have a plan of action to ensure all living things are safe and have a place to go during a hurricane. Here are some key things to consider for your pet when preparing for a storm.
1. Have A Plan
Having a natural disaster plan should be at the top of the list when preparing for a hurricane. This plan should include useful information with resources and contacts to call in the case of an evacuation or emergency. This plan should consist of a place to go, a haven for you and your pets to retreat to and escape safely. It’s crucial to ensure that your shelter has access to freshwater or has enough freshwater stored to last you and your animals for a while.
In addition to a place to go, a list of contacts and resources should be at hand. Boarding facilities, vets, schools may be offering aid for animals during disasters, or friends and family could be offering their help and sanctuary. East Paws will do it’s best to conduct our services during a storm, but we encourage our customers to share their safety plans with us in case of emergencies. A list of vets around the area can also be essential to administer any medical attention or assistance. Having an emergency kit with supplies is also necessary for you and your pet’s health and survival.
2. Prepare A Hurricane Kit For Your Pets
Your hurricane kit can be customized to your dog’s needs or condition, but here are just general items that should be considered in every hurricane kit. Consider packing a sturdy leash, a harness or a carrier for transportation to ensure that your pets don’t stray from the panic and commotion. This equipment is sure to keep them by your side under your protection and guidance. It is important to pack a couple of days worth of food for your pet in terms of nutrition and food. Preferably canned food will ensure the packaging does not become contaminated or wet, rendering the food useless. Remember when packing cans to pack a manual can opener for a safe way to open food. Other essential items to bring will be a bowl for drinking water and a litter box if you have cats.
Your hurricane kit can also include medical records or medications for your pets if they have specific illnesses or medical or physical disorders requiring medical attention. Remember, this information is essential to be kept in waterproof packaging so that vets and veterinary assistants can read it.
3. Practice An Escape Plan With Your Pets
Once your hurricane escape plan and disaster kits are created, it’s important to put your plan into action and practice it. Associating your dogs and pets to specific calls or commands for their attention can benefit them in coming to you faster and reaching you during a disaster. By practicing these sounds, signals, and commands, and associating them with specific behaviors and actions, you increase the likelihood of executing a successful evacuation plan. In addition to exercising your escape plan, take the time to review and ensure that all of your contact information for resources is correct and updated to have the help you need when needed.
4. Have Signs or Stickers to Help First Responders or Rescuers
If you are at risk of evacuating your home in the case of a hurricane or disaster, take the time to fill out and create a Rescue Alert Sticker. The stickers are placed in your home to indicate whether any pets may need rescue inside. This will give first responders and rescuers the information they need to search your home for pets. In the case of an evacuation, if you have the time, it is considered helpful to state on the sticker that your pets are safe and with you so that rescuers can move on to other homes. If interested, here is a Rescue Alert paper that you can print out and fill out for your own home.
Hurricane season is a tough time of year that one must not take lightly. As pet owners, we have the responsibility to take care of our pets so that they live happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives. This is why it is essential to have and to include your pets in a safety and evacuation plan so that you can continue making memories for better days to come.
At East Paws, we stay committed to our customers and furry friends. We will do our best to make all visits scheduled with us. We encourage you to share your evacuation and safety plan so that we can be a helpful resource if needed.
Please consider downloading the Official Broward County Hurricane Preparedness Guide for more information about what to do before, during, and after a storm. This information can be informative and resourceful for you and your family: