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How to Prepare for a Hurricane With Your Pet

how to prepare for a hurricane

Not sure what to do before, during or after a hurricane? You’ve come to the right place! Here’s how to prepare for a hurricane with your pet!


Before there’s any sign of a hurricane, form an evacuation plan. Make sure everyone in your home is familiar with it. The plan should include evacuating somewhere that will accept cats and dogs, such as a pet-friendly hotel or shelter. You should also microchip your pet!

You should also pack an emergency kit for yourself and your pet. It should contain:

  • Supplies for yourself (food, flashlight, radio, etc.)
  • Pet food and water
  • Pet food and water bowls
  • Pet medical records
  • Pet toys
  • Pet treats
  • Medication
  • Litter box and litter or poop bags
  • Pet bed
  • Pet carrier
  • Leash
  • Collar
  • Harness
  • Blanket

Here are other steps you should take around your home well before a hurricane:

  • Make digital copies of important documents.
  • Install check valves on your plumbing.
  • Declutter your drains and gutters.
  • Install hurricane shutters.
  • Review your insurance policies.

Here are the steps you should take 36 hours before a hurricane hits:

  • Tune into emergency channels to stay informed on weather patterns.
  • Stock your emergency kit and keep it close by for a quick exit.
  • Review your evacuation plan.
  • Make sure your car is in working order and has a full tank of gas.

Here are the steps to take 18-36 hours before a hurricane:

  • Bring lawn furniture, trash bins and other objects inside so they don’t blow away.
  • Trim or remove trees that are close to your home.
  • Cover all your windows. We recommend permanent storm shutters, but plywood works in a pinch.

When the hurricane is 6-18 hours away, make sure you’re tuned into emergency channels and charge your cell phone. Then follow these steps when the hurricane is 6 hours away:

  • Plan to stay wherever you are if you’re not in a recommended evacuation area.
  • Let friends and family know where you are.
  • Close storm shutters.
  • Stay away from your home’s windows.
  • Crank up your fridge and freezer to the coldest temperature and only open it when completely necessary.
  • Keep a thermometer in the fridge in case you lose power and need to check food temperature later.


Here’s what to do during a hurricane:

  • Keep your pets with you in a carrier or on a leash with a collar and ID tag!
  • Keep calm and speak to your pet in a soothing voice.
  • Evacuate as soon as the authorities tell you to.
  • Do not drive around barricades.
  • Do not enter flood waters. Even 6 inches can be dangerous.
  • Stay off of bridges that are over fast-moving water.
  • If trapped in a flooded building, go to the highest level, but not into a closed attic.
  • If sheltering from high winds, escape to a FEMA safe room, ICC 500 storm shelter or small, interior and windowless hallway or room. Go to the lowest floor that isn’t flooded.
  • Only use a generator or other machinery powered by gasoline outdoors and away from your home’s windows.


Follow these steps once the hurricane is over:

  • Listen to the authorities!
  • Only return to your home when the authorities say it is safe to do so!
  • Don’t touch any wet electrical equipment or if you are wet.
  • If it’s safe, turn off your electricity using the main breaker or fuse box.
  • Stay away from flood water which may have dangerous debris or present the risk of electrical shock.
  • Text your friends and family or use social media to update them.
  • Only make actual calls if there’s an emergency since phone systems tend to have problems during natural disasters.
  • Document any damage for your insurance company.

Your pet will probably be very anxious at this time. Keep them on a leash or in a carrier until the surrounding area is 100% safe and your pet is calm.