Does your hurricane disaster plan include your furry family members too? Disaster preparedness is just as important for your pets! Even living in Gainesville, Florida, having a basic plan in place now can make a difference in the safety of your pet when a disaster strikes. Do not leave your pet behind; they may become trapped, injured, or they may escape. Remember, if it isn’t safe for you then it isn’t safe for your pet.
Make a pet emergency kit! Many necessities are easily forgotten when an emergency occurs, so having a kit ready to quickly grab in such situations is vital. Here is an example “check list” of a pet emergency kit:
Secure collar with current identification tags
First aid kit
“Rescue Alert” stickers for your house and car to notify emergency responders that you have pets (NAH is giving these away at each location for free)
Familiar beds, blankets, toys, and treats to help keep your pet calm
Vaccination records, Rabies certificate, and other important veterinary records if your pet has specific health concerns (consider keeping these documents in a waterproof bag)
Medications and copies of prescriptions
Food and water bowls
One to two weeks’ worth of food and water
Litterbox / litter or poopie bags
Leash, crate or carrier, safety harness, or other safe restraining device
Other things to consider: Is your pet microchipped? Does your pet’s identification tags have current contact information? Would your pet benefit from weather-specific items such as sweaters in cold climate or pet life jackets if at risk of flooding?
Also consider having one or more of the following natural pet stress relievers on hand:
Rescue Remedy Water Additive
Calming Spray / Wipes / Collars (Common brands are Feliway, Adaptil, and Nurture-Calm)