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Pet Emergency Preparedness Plan

Having lived in the South my entire life, you still never get used to Hurricane Season. I still, to this day, act like a child and get anxious and nervous when one is heading my direction.

Hurricane Season runs every year from June 1st – Nov. 30th, but we have had hurricanes and tropical storms outside of this time frame. Pet’s safety is a very common issue during a hurricane. People who do not prepare for their pets safety beforehand unfortunately have to leave them behind to fend for themselves and hope they survive. Evacuation shelters generally do not accept pets, except for service animals. Therefore, you need to plan ahead to make sure that your four- legged family members will have a safe place to stay. DO NOT wait until a disaster hits to begin your search for shelter.

 Contact your Veterinarian as soon as possible and make sure that your pet is up to date on its shots and have a copy to keep with you in a zip lock bag, to protect from the weather.


Here are some Pre-Disaster Awareness Tips to help you with shelter for your pet, or evacuate.

  1. Have a pet carrier or crate that is the proper size for your animal. Be sure to label the carrier with your pet’s name and address.
  2. Have enough medication for about 14 days. You may need to ask your vet for anxiety medicine to help keep them calm.
  3. Have pet’s food put in daily Ziploc bags, enough for 2 weeks.
  4. Take a current photo of your pet. Just in case you were separated during the storm. (I am always ready for a photo shoot).
  5. Have grooming supplies. Brush, comb, shampoo. (a stinky pet during a hurricane is not pleasant to endure)
  6. Take potty pads, garbage bags, & newspaper…it may be a while before you get to take you pet outside.
  7. Bring your pet’s collar and leash.
  8. Bring a towel or something soft for them to lie on inside the carrier.
  9. Keep a Hurricane tracking chart with you so you can track the storm.

10. Have a handheld radio, extra batteries, and a flash light.

I like to be very organized and make sure that I have not forgotten anything, so every year just before hurricane season I make a list like this. I put this list on my refrigerator and start collecting items one by one and I pack it in a small duffle that is just for my pets. I like to purchase these items ahead of time to save on expenses so I’m not purchasing them all at once, and to be prepared.


        Always remember to check on your neighbors during this exhausting time. If you already know of your route or plans, then inform them.

DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND! It is very likely you will not find them when you return. Pets, if they survive, could be sick from drinking contaminated water or food, or hurt or trapped under debris.

        Just like having a family fire drill, I think that if you have pets that the family should already have a hurricane evacuation plan in place.

For 2012, here is a list of the names that will be used: 






















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