Prepare Your Pets For the Height of the Hurricane Season. Get Ready Now.
By Space Coast Daily // August 28, 2019
storms are brewing across the Atlantic
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – With the height of the hurricane season nearly upon us, preparation is key, including considerations for your pet’s needs.
How well you and your animals will fare during an emergency like a hurricane depends largely on planning done today.
You can prepare by assembling an animal emergency supply kit and developing a pet care buddy system.
Whether you decide to bunker in at home or evacuate to a safer location inland, you will need to make plans in advance for your pets.
Keep in mind that what’s best for you is typically what’s best for your animals.
If you must evacuate, take your pets with you if possible. However, if you are going to a public shelter, it is important to understand that animals may not be allowed inside. Plan in advance for shelter alternatives that will work for both you and your pets.
Make a back-up emergency plan in case you can’t care for your animals yourself. Develop a buddy system with neighbors, friends and relatives to make sure that someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so.
Be prepared to improvise and use what you have on hand to make it on your own for at least three days, maybe longer.
Get a Pet Emergency Supply Kit
Just as you do with your family’s emergency supply kit, think first about the basics for survival, particularly food and water. Consider two kits. In one, put everything you and your pets will need to stay where you are. The other should be a lightweight, smaller version you can take with you if you and your pets have to get away.
Plus, be sure to review your kits regularly to ensure that their contents, especially foods and medicines, are fresh.
Food. Keep at least three days of food in an airtight, waterproof container.
Water. Store at least three days of water specifically for your pets in addition to water you need for yourself and your family.
Medicines and medical records. Keep an extra supply of medicines your pet takes on a regular basis in a waterproof container.
First aid kit. Talk to your veterinarian about what is most appropriate for your pet’s emergency medical needs. Most kits should include cotton bandage rolls, bandage tape and scissors; antibiotic ointment; flea and tick prevention; latex gloves, isopropyl alcohol and saline solution.
Include a pet first aid reference book, Collar with ID tag, harness or leash. Your pet should wear a collar with its rabies tag and identification at all times. Include a backup leash, collar and ID tag in your pet’s emergency supply kit.
In addition, place copies of your pet’s registration information, adoption papers, vaccination documents and medical records in a clean plastic bag or waterproof container and also add them to your kit. You should also consider talking with your veterinarian about permanent identification such as microchipping, and enrolling your pet in a recovery database.
Crate or other pet carrier. If you need to evacuate in an emergency situation take your pets and animals with you provided that it is practical to do so. In many cases, your ability to do so will be aided by having a sturdy, safe, comfortable crate or carrier ready for transporting your pet. The carrier should be large enough for your pet to stand, turn around and lie down.
Sanitation. Include pet litter and litter box if appropriate, newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags and household chlorine bleach to provide for your pet’s sanitation needs.
You can use bleach as a disinfectant (dilute nine parts water to one part bleach), or in an emergency, you can also use it to purify water. Use 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented or color safe bleaches, or those with added cleaners.
If you have large animals such as horses, cattle, sheep, goats or pigs on your property:
- Ensure all animals have some form of identification.
- Evacuate animals whenever possible. Map out primary and secondary routes in advance.
- Make available vehicles and trailers needed for transporting and supporting each type of animal. Also make available experienced handlers and drivers.
- Ensure destinations have food, water, veterinary care and handling equipment.
- If evacuation is not possible, animal owners must decide whether to move large animals to shelter or turn them outside.
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