Residents of Florida know the importance of hurricane preparedness. But have you accounted for your pets? An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Be prepared to bring your pets with you when you evacuate. Animals left behind during hurricanes can get injured, become ill, starve, drown from flooding, die, and hinder human evacuation and rescue efforts.
Here are some helpful suggestions:
- Bring pets along when you evacuate. Never leave pets behind to fend for themselves in a hurricane.
- Ahead of time, identify a place that you would evacuate to with your pets. The best choice is to stay with friends or family located outside of what the expected affected area will be. If not possible, make your own arrangements elsewhere. Many hotels and motels are pet-friendly and those that aren’t, often make exceptions during natural disasters.
Emergency shelters should be considered a last resort, as not all allow pets. You can identify Florida pet-friendly emergency shelters by contacting your county’s emergency management office, or at Floridapets or Floridaevacuates. Many emergency shelters require pre-registration.
- Identify all pets. Place a collar with an ID tag that has your mobile phone number or temporary contact number (such as the phone number of the hotel or relative you are staying with) on it on each pet so they can be reunited if they get lost while you are away from your home.
- Prepare an animal disaster kit to take with you when you evacuate. The kit should include enough food, water, medications, a leash or carrier, for each pet, and photos of each animal with your family members to prove ownership in case they get lost.