By the time the storm rolls in, you might start scrambling to locate everything you need for you and your pet. Having a plan that includes supplies already set aside can help you not only weather the storm successfully but do it together.
With the tornadoes that ripped through places like Oklahoma within the past several weeks, and the start of the Atlantic hurricane season this month, it’s a good time to talk about keeping pets safe in a natural disaster. The main difference between the two types of storms is the amount of warning. There is not much advance notice of a tornado, more with a hurricane, but planning can make the difference when trying to keep yourself and your best friend safe.
First, make sure your pet has some identification; if you and your furry friend become separated during or after the storm, that ID can be your animal’s ticket home. You can hang a tag on its collar with your name and phone number, but collars can come off. So you might also want to have your pet microchipped. A microchip is a more permanent ID with a unique number which can be read by a special scanner and which is registered to you. Just make sure your contact information is up-to-date in the registry.
In the event of a hurricane, or even heavy flooding in the aftermath of a tornado, you may be advised to evacuate. Among the lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina and other disastrous storms is the importance of including pets in an evacuation plan. Another lesson learned – don’t delay, or you risk not just your life but the life of your furry friend.
Keep some supplies handy in case you and your pet have to “camp out” for a few days. You could use a large tote and include some pet food, treats, leash, harness, bowls. Keep your best friend current on all vaccinations, and put proof of vaccination in the tote. Some shelters allow pets, but you must be able to provide that documentation. Put the tote with a carrier and a blanket which will be useful if you need to keep your animal confined.
Planning for your pet’s safety now can help you and your furry companion stay healthy, stay safe, and stay together. After all, that’s what companionship is all about – riding out the storms of life together, when you’re speaking of pets.