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
- Litter box and litter or poop bags
- Pet bed
- Pet carrier
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.