Keeping Pets Safe When Mother Nature Threatens

With Hurricane Joaquin battering South Carolina this past weekend, bringing 1,000-year levels of rain, we were all reminded of destructive power of storms. As you prepare for deadly weather events this year, make sure you follow the following advice to protect some of the most vulnerable members of your household.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is recommending that you:

Have a pet carrier for transportation and temporary housing. Be sure your pet’s carrier is large enough for your dog or cat to stay in comfortably for a few days. If you evacuate to a shelter, your pets will have to spend most of their time in their crates. Cat owners should also plan on creating temporary litter boxes. These can be simply put together with a small cardboard box, plastic bags for liners, and litter.

Have a disaster preparedness kit. Include at least a week’s worth of food and fresh water, any medications your pet is on and a current prescription, as well as any health and medical records. The kit should also include a photo of you and your pets for identification purposes; a list of local pet friendly hotels, friends and relatives that can house you, and a local veterinarian; and first aid supplies.

Have proper identification for your pets. During a disaster or evacuation, the likelihood of being separated from your pets is much higher, and proper identification is the only way to ensure you’ll be reunited. Identification tags should have your name and cellphone number as well as the name of friends or relatives who lives outside of your area. Luggage identification tags make good temporary tags for your pet during a disaster. Your pet should also have a microchip with updated contact information.

Have a plan. In the event of an evacuation, know where you’re going and how you’ll get there with your pets.”

These are good year-‘round tips, but they’re especially crucial during times of the year when Mother Nature threatens to do her worst.

Depending on where you live, natural disasters may include storms, flooding, mudslides, earthquakes, tornados or fires. In any of these events, you may have to pack up your loved ones and bare essentials, and get out of the area fast. Make sure you’re prepared.

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