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Prepare Your Pets For Hurricane Irma

Tuesday, September 5, 2017
posted by Jim Murphy

This is a very active hurricane season for the US. Already, we’ve had devastating hurricane Harvey in Texas and now hurricane Irma, a category 5 hurricane is churning in the Atlantic ready to bare down on the Leeward Island, Puerto Rico and Florida. It is vital that you prepare now and make sure that you include your pets.

The ASPCA has put together a list of things to include for your pet. As you prepare yourselves, make sure you include your furry friends in that preparation.

Prepare Emergency Supplies and Traveling Kits

If you must evacuate your home in a crisis, plan for the worst-case scenario. Even if you think you may be gone for only a day, assume that you may not be allowed to return for several weeks. When recommendations for evacuation have been announced, follow the instructions of local and state officials. To minimize evacuation time, take these simple steps:

  • Make sure all pets wear collars and tags with up-to-date identification information. Your pet’s ID tag should contain his name, telephone number and any urgent medical needs.
  • Be sure to also write your pet’s name, your name and contact information on your pet’s carrier.
  • The ASPCA recommends microchipping your pet as a more permanent form of identification. A microchip is implanted under the skin in the animal’s shoulder area, and can be read by a scanner at most animal shelters.
  • Always bring pets indoors at the first sign or warning of a storm or disaster. Pets can become disoriented and wander away from home in a crisis.
  • Store an emergency kit and leashes as close to an exit as possible. Make sure that everyone in the family knows where it is, and that it clearly labeled and easy to carry. Items to consider keeping in or near your “Evac-Pack” include:
  • Pet first-aid kit and guide book (ask your vet what to include:
    3-7 days’ worth of canned (pop-top) or dry (be sure to rotate every two months) food.
  • Disposable litter trays (aluminum roasting pans are perfect)
  • Litter or paper toweling
  • Liquid dish soap disinfectant
  • Disposable garbage bags for clean-up
  • Pet feeding dishes and water bowls
  • Extra collar or harness as well as an extra leash
  • Photocopies and/or USB of medical records and a waterproof container with a two-week supply of any medicine your pet requires (Remember, food and medications need to be rotated out of your emergency kit—otherwise they may go bad or become useless)
  • At least seven days’ worth of bottled water for each person and pet (store in a cool, dry place and replace every two months)
  • A traveling bag, crate or sturdy carrier, ideally one for each pet
  • Flashlight
  • Blanket
  • Recent photos of your pets (in case you are separated and need to make “Lost” posters)
  • Especially for cats: Pillowcase, toys, scoop-able litter
  • Especially for dogs: Extra leash, toys and chew toys, a week’s worth of cage liner
  • You should also have an emergency kit for the human members of the family. Items to include: Batteries, duct tape, flashlight, radio, multi-tool, tarp, rope, permanent marker, spray paint, baby wipes, protective clothing and footwear, extra cash, rescue whistle, important phone numbers, extra medication and copies of medical and insurance information.

You should start finalizing your plans now.

Remember your pets count!

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