Hurricane season on the Gulf Coast is a time of stress for families across the region. Every year, spare gas tanks are filled, food and water supplies are replenished, and go bags are packed. However, one aspect of storm preparation that shouldn’t be overlooked is your pet’s preparedness. Make sure they’re included in your emergency plans just like your human family members. NEVER LEAVE YOUR PET BEHIND WHEN EVACUATING.
What do I need to do for my pet to prepare for Hurricane Season?
It’s critical that your pet is prepared to come with you should you evacuate in the event of a storm. Don’t wait until it’s time to leave to put your pet in a crate for the first time. Make sure they’re comfortable in a travel carrier every now and then by encouraging them to enter and exit the kennel with plenty of positive reinforcement.
Additionally, if your pet becomes carsick or anxious when traveling and requires medication, be sure to have a current prescription. You should administer the medication in advance to know how your pet reacts to it to ensure they’ll be comfortable in the car.
In the event that you and your pet are separated, confirm that they have a properly fitted collar and tag with your current contact information. Also, check that their microchip information is up-to-date.
Obtain vaccination and medical records from your veterinarian. Write down any care or medical instructions as well. Seal this information with any medications they need in a plastic bag.
Walk around your yard to ensure that your fence is secure and there are no weak spots that your pet could escape through if they get spooked. If they wear a tether or use a leash to go outside, test them to confirm they won’t break when pulled.
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What should I include in my pet’s emergency kit?
Save the following disaster checklist to make sure your pet has everything they need before leaving home in an emergency. Pack the following items in a sturdy backpack or duffel bag and have a secure travel carrier in good shape ready to place in the car. Ensure that it fits in advance if you have a large animal.
Houston SPCA Chief Investigator Adam Reynolds shared some extra tips for packing a kit for your pet ensuring you’ll have everything you need easily accessible and protected from the elements.