Before the storm: Pet safety preparation tips during hurricane season

Don’t wait until there is a hurricane warning to decide how best to keep your pet safe during hurricane season.  Use these tips to be prepared and to keep your family pet safe and sound.  We wouldn’t want to encounter Murdered Pets in New Orleans Schools Post Katrina as so many did after their major hurricane evacuation.

Before the storm

Do your research. Find out which shelters in your area will permit pets other than service animals.  You may also want to contact boarding facilities (some are prepared for hurricanes and evacuations).

When developing your evacuation plan, if you are including friends or family, ask them if your pet will be welcome too.

Find other pet friendly facilities.  When our family evacuated from Houston and went inland we found a Radisson Hotel that was accepting pets. You can look at individual hotel sites or use Pet Friendly Hotels help you with your search. Of course you may have to pay extra per night as well as include a deposit, but at least your pet will be safe with you.  Keep your list of pet friendly facilities and hotels with your emergency kit.

Lojack your pet.  Yes my dog has a microchip implant so that should he get lost during a hurricane or for any other reason hopefully we can locate him quickly and easily.

Make sure your pets vaccinations are current and keep a copy with you in your emergency kit.

Make sure your pet (including cat) has all the licenses and tags required by your state.

Take a picture of your pets and also one with you and your pets to help establish ownership should there be any question after the storm.

Designate a safety area in the household for your pet – if you plan on riding out the storm.

Create an emergency pet preparedness kit including:

Vaccination record


Trash bags

Pet food

Bottled water:  It’s important to not use tap water for your pet, your family or even to wash dishes unless it has been declared safe.  Even in that case you may want to wait a few days just to make sure.

Favorite toys and bedding

Any necessary medications for your pet

Zip lock bags:  Keep all your important papers in a sturdy, waterproof bag or other container.  We used a Rubbermaid container because it had handles and we could quickly grab and go with it or place it up high in the closet for easy access.

Collar with tags and leash

Kennel – and if your dog is not kennel trained but you will use one in case of storm or danger it is important to train them in advance.

Paper towels and cleaning supplies. Remember your pet will not be able to go potty outside and it may not be safe to go outside immediately after the storm.

You may need these items both at home hunkered down or away.

The most important thing when preparing for your pets safety during a hurricane is to plan ahead.  You don’t want to show up at Auntie Em’s house to find out that she is allergic to your cat.  Reservations at pet friendly hotels, boarders, and shelters fill up fast so it’s important to know where and when you plan on going and call ahead making a reservation and guaranteeing it with a credit card.   Keep your plan and kit always complete and updated and so that your planning ahead in case of a hurricane can really pay off.

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