Hurricanes can be scary and while we cannot prevent them, we can certainly learn how to deal with them. Taking the time to prepare ahead of time will make your life a little easier in the event that you and your pet need to evacuate or are caught in a storm.
The first thing you can do to prepare is to take a current photo of your pet, as this may help if your pet gets lost during the storm. You can keep a copy of that photo with you or just have it available on your cell phone. A current photograph can be the difference between a lost and found pet in the event you are separated during the storm. All pets should have a collar with current identification. Consider getting a microchip for your pet. Proof of ownership is very important when trying to find a lost pet.
Immediately before the storm be sure to keep your pets indoors and accessible. Cats especially can sense a storm and may want to hide. It may be easier to put them in their carriers ahead of time so you do not loose valuable time trying to find them. You should have a proper sized carrier for all of your animals. Label your carriers with you name and address, your pets name, breed, age and sex. And, always keep a leash or two available in case you or someone else is in need.
If you need to evacuate it is important to know ahead of time which shelters and hotels are pet friendly. Before the hurricane, it is important to make sure you pets are up to date on their vaccines. If your pets are current on vaccines, you should make sure to have a copy of their vaccine history with you. Pet shelters may require proof of your vaccines before allowing your pet to stay there. Many pet shelters will not have enough food and water on hand for pets so it is important that you bring your own food and bottled water for your pets. You should also make sure to have a least one weeks worth of your pets medications on hand.
Hurricane Check List for Pets:
- List of Pet Friendly Shelters: www.gvma.net/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3305
- List of Pet Friendly Hotels: http://www.pets-allowed-hotels.com/us/Georgia/index.html
- Microchip information
- Rabies tag and/or Rabies Certificate
- Vaccination history
- Photo of your pet(s) in case of separation
- A weeks worth of food, water, and any medications that are needed
- An appropriately sized carrier, as well as a collar and leash for each of your animals