Hurricane season started June 1, which means if you haven’t prepared, it’s time! We know the basics: keeping our car serviced, creating a supply kit with stable food, water, and medical needs, and setting up a communications plan during the event of a storm. But what about your pets?
As nola.gov/ready (the local resource for hurricane preparedness) puts it, “your pets’ survival during a disaster largely depends on advance emergency planning you do today.”
Take a look at how to prepare your pets for hurricane season below.
Remember that pets will be unable to fend for themselves if you leave them outdoors or even indoors in the event of flooding. During Hurricane Katrina, many residents made the difficult choice not to evacuate so that they could stay with their pets. Since then, city officials have now allowed residents in New Orleans to evacuate with their pets: it is the best choice for all parties involved. If you live in Jefferson Parish, visit their website for more information on evacuation plans with pets.
You’ll want to make sure you have suitable carriers available for all of your pets so that you can transport them easily and safely in the event of an evacuation.
We’ve been there: we let our pets’ food run out completely and then have to scramble to the grocery store. In the event of a hurricane, however, there will be no time for scrambling, which is why advance planning is so important. Just like you would gather an emergency supplies kit for yourself, plan to create a separate kit for your pets that will last at least three days. Nola.gov/ready’s sample supply kit includes:
Pets will need to be up-to-date on all vaccinations in order to be boarded or stay at a pet-approved hotel. Plan a vet appointment to get your pet up to speed on any required vaccinations, and make copies of all immunization records. Keep the records in a safe spot, such as your pet’s emergency supply kit (see above) or even in your car’s glove compartment in the event of an evacuation.
If finances are a concern, Petco has special vaccination clinics on Saturdays where pet owners can bring their pets for simple vaccinations. Keep in mind that a full exam is not included – this is simply a way for pet owners to quickly and cost-effectively get their pets any required vaccinations for travel.