Hurricane Season 2019 for Pet Parents

It’s here again! Hurricane Season 2019.

As a pet parent this means having a hurricane plan for you and your furry loved ones, too. When thinking about any potential emergency three key things jump to the top of the list:  comprehensive pet identification, creating a pet evacuation kit and having a “flight plan” to safety.

Let’s look at each of these in a more detail.

Comprehensive Pet Identification. When it comes to pet identification the more the better--this is important regardless of the season. 

  • Micro chipping is important. Make sure that the information associated with your pet’s microchip is current.

  • Add a visible tag with your current contact information, too. The microchip can only be read by vets or a shelter.

  • Consider a Pet Recovery System like Pet Hub Solutions, www.pethub.com. It’s a 24/7 Pet Recovery System using a tag with a QR code, website & toll-free number that connects the person finding your pet to your online profile which you create and maintain. The profile includes your pet's picture, your contact information and additional contacts if you are not reachable--which is vital during emergencies. You can add medical information, vaccine records, vet’s number, microchip number and more. 96% of lost pets with Pet Hub tags are returned to their owners within 24 hours.

Create a Pet Evacuation Kit with these important basics:

  • Your pet’s food in air-tight, waterproof containers & water. At a minimum a three-day supply but recommend up to two weeks.

  • A two week’s supply your pet’s medicines.

  • Important documents – proof of current county-issued rabies vaccination and tag, vaccine & medical records, your pet’s registration, adoption papers. Place these in waterproof plastic bags to keep them safe and dry.

  • A picture of you and your dog together. This can help if you get separated and show proof of ownership.

  • Secure, sturdy collar and leash—even for cats. Have your pet’s ID and rabies tags on the collar. Surroundings will be unfamiliar, so you want to keep your baby safe.

  • A crate to keep your pet secure.

  • Pet waste bags and/or litter box.

  • A first aid kit for your family and furry children, too.

  • Also, favorite toys, treats & familiar items to help reduce the stress on your furry babies. ThunderShirts are great if your pet gets nervous with loud noises. Keeping your pets close can do wonders for both you and your furry babies in times of stress, too!

Have a “Flight Plan”

Plan ahead and know where you will go. We cannot emphasize this enough--do NOT leave your pets behind.  Shelters do not take in pets during evacuations. Boarding facilities could be under evacuation orders, too. Reach out to family and friends out of harm’s way for places to stay. There are more and more pet friendly hotels and motels.  Be sure to call ahead, though, because they will fill up fast.

Here are a few travel resource ideas:

  • There are several pet friendly travel sites to find hotels. GoPetFriendly.com and TripswithPets.com are full of helpful information for traveling pet families. You can make reservations through TripswithPets.com and BringFido.com.

  • Several chains are known for their pet friendliness, too. These include Red Roof Inns, Staybridge Suites, LaQuinta, Motel 6, Drury, Aloft and Residence Inns. 

  • Always call ahead to confirm a hotel’s pet friendly policies. Some hotels may be pet friendly but due to storm conditions may not be open.

  • Local Evacuation Shelters should be a last resort. In Pinellas County, Florida there are only three pet friendly shelters and you need to pre-register because space is limited.  Priority is given to mobile home residents. 

Our pets are our furry children and it is so important to ensure they are part of every evacuation plan and trip. Comprehensive pet identification, a pet evacuation kit and having a well thought out “flight plan” ahead of time can keep everyone safe and sound before, during and after the storm moves through. 

Here are a few links for additional information:

Sources for this article include personal experiences, information from PetHub.com and the FEMA and Pinellas County Emergency Management sites above.  

This is such an important topic please help spread the message!

 #StPetePAWS, #petsafety, #petfriendly

Copyright © 2019 Karen Bartoszek