When hurricanes or other disasters strike, it’s important to have a plan in place that includes your pets. While wind or water damage can vary, there’s a good chance that your home will be without power. You also might not be able to leave your home if road conditions are bad. Coming up with a plan ahead of time ensures that your pets will have everything they need during this time.
You should have supplies that will last for at least a week in case you’re unable to leave your home or have no power. Make sure that you have plenty of food and water for your pets. If you normally give them raw food, keep freeze-dried or dehydrated food around as a backup. If you have pets that take medication, plan ahead to ensure that they won’t run out.
Some pets can get nervous during rough weather. Using natural calming remedies can help ease your pets’ anxiety and help them stay calm during hurricanes or other disasters. There are a number of natural calming products available as well as prescription medication. Just make sure that you talk to your vet before using any medication.
Toys and Chews
Mental stimulation is also important for pets, so that they don’t get bored while they’re cooped up. Keeping them occupied can also relieve anxiety. Have plenty of toys and chews available for your pets to play with or chew on.
Since your pets won’t be able to run around your yard or go for walks during a disaster, plan on having them exercise indoors. Dogs can burn off energy running around your home playing, while cats can get exercise by climbing on cat trees or playing with toys.
Pet-Friendly Shelters or Hotels
Make a list of emergency shelters, hotels and motels that are pet-friendly, so you’ll know where to go if you need to leave your area and don’t have family or friends to stay with. Keep in mind that hotels that normally don't allow pets are not legally required to accommodate them for evacuees. In some cases, local animal shelters and rescue groups offer temporary foster homes for evacuees who can't find a place to stay with their pets.
Local Pet Stores and Vets
If you’re going to another area, make a list of local pet stores that carry your pets’ food. You should also keep a list of local veterinarians handy in case of illness or injuries. Bring your pets’ medical records with you when you leave, and make sure that your pets' microchip information is up-to-date.
You should always make sure your contact information is visible on your pet's ID tag. Also, you should make sure that your pet has an active microchip. It's a good idea to check your pet's microchip when you go to your vet's office. ID tags and microchips will help get your back to you in the event they are lost during an emergency situation.