Hurricane season is upon us here in Florida, which makes being prepared for an emergency more important than ever. Most of us have the essentials on hand and a plan in place in case of evacuation, but not everyone factors the family pet into the equation. Hurricane preparedness for pets is critical for their safety and health, and King’s Trail Animal Hospital can help!
In the event of a hurricane or other natural disaster, the safest place for your pet is with you. Never leave your pet behind if you have to evacuate, as abandoned pets are at serious risk for injury or death. Exchange house keys and evacuation plans with a few trusted neighbors or local friends, and plan to evacuate each other’s pets if one of you is caught outside evacuation lines.
Microchipping Makes Sense
The importance of getting your pet microchipped and keeping your contact information current cannot be overstated. Although a well-fitting collar with ID tags is also important, pets that are microchipped have a much better chance at being reunited with their owners should they become separated.
Have a Plan
During a natural disaster, many temporary shelters do not allow pets. That’s why making a list of pet-friendly places ahead of time is key in hurricane preparedness for pets. We suggest looking at the following options:
- Pet-friendly hotels/motels (local and nearby towns)
- Friends or family who could take your pet in
- Area boarding kennels
- Shelters or rescues that agree to temporarily house displaced pets
- Campgrounds or other alternate lodging
Hurricane Preparedness for Pets
Having the essentials on hand in case of evacuation is critical to any veterinary emergency preparedness plan. Gather the following important pet care items and store them in an easily accessible area of your home:
- One week’s supply of food and fresh water (in water-proof containers)
- Medical and vaccination records
- Pet first aid kit
You can learn more about assembling and using a pet first aid kit by downloading the Red Cross Pet First Aid app.
A Sigh of Relief
While planning for a hurricane isn’t fun, knowing your pet and family will be taken care of during an emergency brings a sense of relief and accomplishment. Please don’t hesitate to contact your Jacksonville vet with any questions or for more information about hurricane preparedness for pets.