Author: Dabney Weems
We are about a month into hurricane season. Forecasters have predicted an above normal season and already there have been a few named storms.
Hopefully, you are already prepared for any storms with an emergency supplies kit. If not, it’s time to get your household ready. Be sure your preparations include supplies and plans for taking care of pets during these weather emergencies. If it’s not safe for you, it’s not safe your pets either. Make plans now to ensure your pets remain safe.
Have Your Pet Ready
Be prepared to take your pet with you if you need to leave or evacuate during an emergency. The pet should have a collar on with up-to-date contact information. Microchip your pet and register the microchip with the manufacturer. You should also have a leash ready to go and proper equipment for them to travel (carriers, pet seatbelts, etc.).
Create an Emergency Kit for Your Pet
Families are not the only ones who need to have an emergency kit; your beloved pet needs one too. You should have a two-week supply of food and water with bowls, medications, leashes, collars, litter and litterbox for cats, carrier and bedding. Also include vaccination records, microchip information and proof of ownership.
You have your kit and plan, now it’s time to practice. Make sure your pet is comfortable in their carrier and be prepared to corral them in an emergency. They could be scared and could hide or not come when called. Bring a toy or two to help make them feel comfortable. Practice with the entire family so each member knows where to be and what to take when an emergency happens.
Locate Pet-Friendly Shelters
There are several shelter options for pet owners. County shelters will signify if they are pet-friendly and what types of animals are allowed. You may be required to kennel your pets or keep them in their crates or cages in a separate area in the shelter.
Not all shelters accept pets though. North Carolina has several pet-friendly hotels and motels throughout the state. If you are unsure about a hotel’s pet policy, it is always best to call ahead and ask. Keep a list of pet-friendly hotels or boarding facilities with your pet’s emergency kit so that it is handy on-the-go.
If sheltering in place with a pet, limit their time outdoors and always keep them on a leash and out of hazardous storm debris and floodwaters. Utilizing veterinarians or boarding facilities are also options for you.