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Getting Your Pet Ready For A Storm

July 8, 2019
Hurricanes are stressful for people and pets. It’s best to prepare your pet for a hurricane now, not when a storm is bearing down. Pets are at higher risk of becoming lost when in an unknown environment or while traveling in the car. Losing your pet is never good, but losing them in a place other than home is even more dangerous. Following these precautions will help to keep them safe.


What to do ahead of a storm:

  • Have your pet micro-chipped
    This is a permanent means of identification. Include a back-up phone number of an out-of-state friend/family member. Email a copy of the paperwork to yourself so you can access it even if you’re not at home.
  • Make an ID tag
    A tag allows the finder to contact you immediately without taking your pet to a shelter or vet clinic to be scanned for a microchip. During a hurricane, clinics and shelters may be closed for days or weeks. Include your cell phone number, not your home phone number – you won’t be there..
  • Have a plan
    Plan where to take your pet if you’re unable to bring them with you during an evacuation – enlist the help of a trusted friend or family member.
  • Take photos of your pet from all angles
    Include a close-up of their face. Show unusual coloring or markings. Upload pictures to an online photo storage site or email them to yourself.


If you need to evacuate:

  • Get a Sharpie
    Write your phone number on your pet’s collar (or their belly) if you don’t have an ID tag.
  • Never leave your pet behind!
    Not all emergency shelters allow pets. See “pet-friendly shelters” below for information on bringing your pets to a shelter.
  • Have your paperwork
    You’ll need proof of vaccinations for shelters and hotels.
  • Don’t forget
    Bring pet medications, vet records, microchip records (in a waterproof container), kitty litter/box, food, dishes, manual can opener, and water.
  • Take control
    Use a leash and properly fitted collar with legible ID tag. Harness or martingale collar recommended.
  • Crate your dog/cat
    Be sure crate is sturdy and door securely fastened. Check crate door/firm grip on leash before opening car doors or hotel door. Run seat belt through leash handle. Keeps dog with car if there’s an accident or from bolting when the door opens.
  • Double check
    After stopping for gas/food, be sure all pets are in car before driving away.


Pet-friendly shelters:

If you need to evacuate and you have nowhere else to go, you can go to a pet-friendly shelter.
  • Check shelter openings
    Pay attention to news broadcasts and social media to find out where your county’s pet-friendly shelter is and when it will open.
  • Pre-register
    Many pet-friendly shelters require pre-registration. Make sure you have your pet’s paperwork.
  • Bring supplies
    You’ll need a sturdy crate, bed, leash and food for your pet, along with supplies for yourself. Shelters do not provide supplies.

For more safety and preparedness tips, click here to visit our storm readiness page.