It’s not uncommon to see people glued to their phones or television screens during hurricane season. Many of us are searching for updates on the storm’s pattern, so we can be prepared if the hurricane’s path suddenly changes or if it’s on the verge of developing into a higher category. While it can be frightening to see that such a large and potentially damaging storm is headed your way, it can be even more stressful organizing an emergency preparedness plan for your family. The good news is there are many resources available with insight on the ways you can keep the humans in your family protected–but what about our pets?
Continue reading to discover simple solutions that can protect your furry four-legged friends during a hurricane.
Notify Rescue Workers With Alert Stickers
The best way for rescue workers to know there are pets inside your home is with an alert sticker. There are a variety of sizes and styles to choose from online, some bolder and brighter than others to easily capture the attention of workers passing by. You can also speak with your local veterinarian or an employee at your favorite pet store for suggestions on where you can find the adhesives.
When it’s time to hang the sticker up in your home, choose a spot closest to where a rescue worker will recognize it–such as by your front door or entryway windows.
Prepare a Pet Safety Kit
One of the first pieces of advice we’re given when it’s time to prepare for an emergency is to have a kit ready. If you’re looking to keep your pet safe and soothed during a storm, they’ll need a kit, too.
Most of the basics you’ll need to include are similar to the items you’d put in a kit for yourself, such as bottled water or canned goods. More animal specific items include plastic bags or puppy pads for waste management. Cat owners should store away an emergency litter box.
It’s also a good idea to house your pet’s medicine or medical records in a safe container that can withstand potential water damage. Lastly, because it’s always great to prepare for anything, we recommend keeping a photo of your pet saved on your phone. This will be useful in situations where you have been separated from your four-legged friend.
Design a Plan
While most meteorologists suggest locals evacuate when a hurricane is headed their way, some will choose to stay and ride the storm out. To best protect your pet, you and your family should determine ahead of time whether or not you will stay home or seek shelter elsewhere.
Pet owners staying home should keep their furry friend in a comfortably sized carrier or cage to keep your animal close to you throughout the storm. If your pet isn’t a fan of carriers or cages, keep a leash on them instead. This allows for quick access if you need to calm them down when the storm makes landfall.
If you decide to evacuate before the storm makes landfall, try to leave as soon as possible. You should also pack along your pet’s safety kit and store it somewhere safe in your vehicle in case they get thirsty or hungry while on the road.
Take A Deep Breath
Just like humans, our pets can sense our emotions. This means pacing around your kitchen moments before landfall or shouting when lightning strikes will spike their nerves. Instead, pet your four-legged friends as much as you can and speak to them in soothing tones. Finally, try to remember that the storm will pass and if you’ve followed these suggestions the risk of potential danger will already be reduced.