Hurricane season is upon us, and it’s going to be especially busy this year, according to officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. Many people don’t think ahead about pet safety during emergencies, but having a plan for your pet is just as important as having a plan for the rest of your family.
Some people won’t leave their pets home alone even in the face of a hurricane and other natural disaster. But having a pet plan in place can ensure your pet’s safety and give you peace of mind to seek shelter, too.
The season officially began June 1 and runs until November 30th, because historically 97% of hurricanes fall within these dates. The National Hurricane Center has created guidelines to help any pet owner prepare:
- Make sure your pet is current on any vaccinations. Pet shelters usually require a pet to be current before they accept animals.
- Keep a current photograph of your pet.
- Have a carrier for each of your animals.
- Decide where you will shelter your pet. Homes of friends or relatives, animal shelters, or kennels are all places your pet will be safe. Work this location into your own family’s evacuation route so everyone will be safe.
- If weathering a storm, bring pets inside well in advance. This will help them remain calm.
- After the storm, walk your pet on a leash for a while. Smells and the landscape may have changed enough for your pet to become lost. Re-familiarize them.
- Monitor your pet for unusual behavior after the storm. Animals will sometimes display increased aggression after storms.
Luckily, we can see hurricanes coming. Plan ahead to keep everyone out of harm’s way. Do you have a plan for your family pet in case of a hurricane? Let us know in the comments!