If you live in an area where natural disasters such as hurricanes are likely to happen and mandatory
evacuations are issued, you need to be prepare and preparing in advance is key.
For that reason we have put together safety tips for before, during and after the storm to keep your pets safe.
Things to do “before” the storm.
1. DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS ALONE.
We strongly recommend that you take your pets with you, but in the event that you have
absolutely no other choice:
DO NOT CONFINE YOUR PET’S.
Turn off the electrical power to your entire house, to avoid electrical fires to avoid your pet from getting electrocuted.
Never leave lamps plugged in or candles lit for your pets.
Leave food and water for at least a week.
Place a large dish with water under the dish of your pet’s food dish, to avoid aunts and other critters from crawling into the food.
Place food dishes high off the ground on a counter or table where your pet can reach it.
DO not confine to one room or tie your pet to anything.
In the event of flooding your pet’s need to be able to move freely throughout your home to survive and rely on his – her own survival instincts.
When you leave your home, paint, YES paint your door with spray paint with these words: PETS INSIDE, CATS – DOGS, ETC. and the number of pets.
Or purchase a Pet Safety Alert window decal here: http://hurricanepetsrescue.org/firstresponse-sticker/
Place the decal next to your door on a window and write EVACUATED across it in indelible ink marker.
2. Gather and take with you recent photos of your pets.
Print the photos and place them in Ziploc bags.
Prepare flyers with a photo of your pet and contact information and print them out so you have them ready to go in the event that your pet goes missing.
Remember to add alternate contact information to the flyers as cell phones may not be working, is always best to put a landline telephone number, not just a cell phone.
3. Microchip your pets NOW.
4. Collars and ID Tags. If time doesn’t permit for you to microchip your pet, please make sure your pet is wearing a collar and ID tags on them with as much information as you can fit in the tag.
Telephone numbers, name, address, if the pet takes medications, etc.
If your pets are microchipped already please call your microchip company to make sure your microchip information is up to date and place visible collar and ID tag on your pet as well.
Even though microchips make for very happy reunions, the finder of your pet may not take your pet to be scanned, therefore ID tags make for easy visual.
As an added ID you can always write your telephone with indelible ink maker on the belly of your pet.
5. Have A Plan. Have a plan and follow that plan, pick a leader and follow the leader!
6. Do not wait until the last minute. If you need to evacuate, DO NOT wait until the last minute to do so.
Know where you are going and know in advance safe routes to take to get to destination.
Call ahead, so you know which evacuation shelters are near you that allows pets and ask what their requirements are.
7. As you pack for yourself, pack for you pets.
What to pack:
Medications (at least a 2 week supply).
Your pet’s medical (vaccination records).
Leashes, DO NOT use retractable leashes, they are useless and you have no control of your dog.
Buy a plain old 7 foot leash, if you do not have one already.
Portable carriers should be large enough for your pet to stand, turn around, lay down and fit a litter box.
Carriers should be one carrier per pet.
Cardboard boxes are not approved pet carriers and are not secure, do not transport your pet in a cardboard box.
Never put 2 pets in the same carrier even if they are bonded.
Water bowls, food bowls.
Cages, metal wire cages.
Muzzle, if your pet is aggressive towards other pets or people.
Wee Wee pads.
Bottle water (at least a 2 week supply)
Food, both wet and dry (at least a 2 week supply)
Even if your pet doesn’t eat can food, it is wise to pack a supply of it.
Dry food can get wet and spoil in the event of flooding.
Keep pets on the same diet if you evacuate to a friend or relative home or if you have evacuees come to your home, please instruct everyone not to give your pets any other food that isn’t theirs.
Most veterinary clinics and emergency clinics near where you are going may not be open, therefore you do not want to add to your pets being ill because of table scraps or foods that they aren’t accustomed to eating.
Battery operated candles and flashlights.
Bed and blankets for your pet so they have a familiar scent.
Sanitation materials, such as waste pick up bags, litter scoops, etc.
8. Call ahead. Call hotels, boarding facilities, shelters and family ahead of time to make sure they are ok with you bringing your pets with you.
Many shelters require pre-registration, therefor is always wise to call ahead.
9. Practice. Practice unloading and loading your pets into carries.
10. Cat smart. If you have cats know in advance where you cats may hide when in distress and scare.
11. Pack a small cooler with ice for pet medications that needs to be refrigerated.
12. Pet Emergency Kit. Pack and emergency kit for your pets that contains:
Absorbent gauze pads
Cotton balls or swabs
Fresh 3% hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting (always check with veterinarian or
animal poison control expert before giving to your pet)
Scissors with blunt end
OTC antibiotic ointment
Oral syringe or turkey baster
Liquid dishwashing detergent.
Saline eye solution
Artificial tear gel
Phone number, clinic name, address of your veterinarian as well as local veterinary
emergency clinics nearby of where you are going.
13. Bring your pets indoors and never ever leave pets in a car.
14. Secure pet doors and gates so your pet cannot go outside on his or her own.
Walk your pets on a leash even if in your yard.
15. Buddy System. Have a buddy system and exchange pet information, evacuation plans and house keys with friends family and neighbor’s in the event that you cannot get to your pets on time your buddies
can evacuate your pets for you.
16. Pet Gear. Check your pets gear, make sure carriers latch properly and that all latches or bolts around them are secure.
Make sure leashes and collars are secure.
Make sure to ONLY put breakaway collar on cats.
17. If you care for feral cat colonies please follow the guidelines of Alley Cat Allies for feral cats caregivers here: https://www.alleycat.org/texas-residents-and-animals-in-path-of-powerfulhurricane/
18. Practice, practice, practice, do a drill and try things out before it gets real.
20. Pet Air Travel. If you plan to travel via air to get away from the storm, please DO NOT ship your pets cargo.
Pets that are less than 20 pounds can travel in the cabin with you in the continental USA.
If your pet is over 20 pounds and you travel, please drive with your pet to destination.
The cargo hold is the cargo hold, no matter what the airline tells you, there is no special accommodations for your pet in the cargo hold.
Cargo holds are designated for baggage – cargo, hence the name, not for pets.
Cargo – luggage shifts in the cargo hold at takeoff and landing and so will your pet in his or her kennel.
The cargo hold is either too hot or too cold, is very dark and incredibly loud.
NOBODY will check on your pet in-flight while in the cargo hold!
If your pet is in distress and needs immediate medical attention, or if something landed on his or her kennel or your pet dies, nobody will notice until baggage is unloaded and even then your pet may sit on the ramp for a while, nobody may even notice that your pet is in need of help or that
is dead until is reunited with you!
21. Help an elderly neighbor or disable one with their pets.
22. Offer to foster a pet in need at a public shelter until the storm passes.
These animals are homeless and many shelters DO euthanize when a disaster strikes.
23. KNOW YOUR EVACUATION ZONE: https://flash.org/2017EvacuationZones.pdf
Things to do “during” the storm.
1. Choose a room in your home for you and your pets to be together and stay in that room, until
the storm passes.
This way, In the event that things go south and you need to evacuate in a hurry you will know
exactly where your pets are.
2. Carriers and leashes should be in that room.
3. Keys, flashlights and an AX (in case your home exits get blocked, you can escape) must be in that
4. Safe routes information and shelter information that allow pets, should be in that room, in an accessible place.
5. Shoes, always wear shoes, in the event that you need to get out in a hurry.
Preferably rubber shoes for isolation from the ground.
6. Do not give your pets any tranquilizers, you may resort to “Rescue Remedy” an all-natural stress reliever or calming collars (these are not breakaway therefore not recommended for cats) but that is about it.
Your pet needs to be alert to be able to relay on his on her survival instincts if things get bad.
7. Stay calm, your pets will be stressed already as they feel these storms 10 times more than
humans do, even before they happen.
A calm pet owner, makes a calmer pet.
8. Remember to comfort and re-assure your pet and provide play time for them as well.
A little catnip for cats goes a long way and even for a moment takes their senses out of storm mode.
1. Assess the area for damages and danger such as power lines being down and contaminated
2. DO NOT let your animals outside unless you know for a fact that is it safe.
3. Walk dogs on a leash. Distressed animals can run away and because of all the different smells
from the storm they may become confused and not be able to find their way back home.
4. Keep cats confined to a room until things are back to normal or close to normal.
5. If you had evacuated with your pets to a friend’s home or family and pet or pets are cats that go outdoors when they are at home.
DO NOT let them go outdoors in an unfamiliar place. If you do they will try to go back home, and that is when they will get into trouble and get lost, keep them confined to a room at all times or to a crate.
6. Always use battery operated candles, regular candles are easily tipped over by pets and they become a great fire hazard.
7. Be on the lookout for neighbor’s pets that may be lost.
8. Never light barbecues inside your home or turn generators on inside of your home.
9. Keep Lighter fluid and matches away from pets at all times.
10. In case your pets are lost, familiarize yourself with organizations that are helping storm victims locate lost and found pets.
Check social media sites and rescue groups in your area, alert your nearest county shelter and humane society.
Feel free to post on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/hurricanepetsrescue/ or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org e-mail and Facebook page messages are the fastest way to contact us. While we do not handle lost and found pets we will be happy to help in getting the word out.
Check local county shelters (GO IN PERSON, EVERY DAY TO CHECK), post flyers, put familiar scents like a dirty T shirts with your scent around your home, etc.
11. Leave a dirty litter box in your home, if your pet is lost you can put the litter box outside to help your pet find his or her scent.
Be safe, plan ahead and stay safe together with your pets!
REMEMBER THESE WORDS WHEN DRIVING: “TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN.
Hurricane Pets Rescue Inc. is a national all breed 501 C3 disaster relief nonprofit with headquarters and sanctuary for cats in Miami Beach, Florida.
Copyright © to Hurricane Pets Rescue Inc. (HPR)
2018 All right reserved.