June is National Pet Preparedness Month which just happens to coincide with the start of Hurricane season here in the southeast. Since hurricanes, and other natural disasters, can strike at any time it is very important for you and your Pets to be prepared.
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Our first hurricane season with Oz was in 2005. It was the most active Atlantic hurricane season recorded with five of the season’s seven major hurricanes making landfall – Dennis, Emily, Katrina, Rita and Wilma. Of those storms, Wilma was the hurricane that had the biggest impact and caused the most damage in our area. It was after Wilma passed, and we were without power for one week, that I learned the importance of being prepared.
As pet parents, we cannot forget to stock up on essentials for our pets nor can we forget to provide them with the comfort and security they need during a disaster. We encourage all pet parents who live in disaster-prone areas to be prepared and follow these safety tips.
1. Make sure your pet has identification like an I.D. tag, a customized collar or microchip with current contact information.
2. Carry a photograph of your pet (or even better, of you and your pet) in the event of separation.
3. Stock up on needed pet supplies including food, water, medications, litter, bedding for small pets and first aid supplies.
4. Make a safe space in a crate or carrier for your pet to ride out the storm. Pets can sense severe weather changes and they will often hide. It’s best to create a secure space so you know where they are in case of evacuation.
5. Create an Emergency Go-Bag for your pet in case of evacuation. Oz’s Go-Bag has food, water bottle, treats, collapsible food dishes, his vaccination record, an extra leash and harness, a favorite toy and a roll-up bed/crate mat.
6. If evacuation is necessary, do not leave your pets behind and be sure to secure them in the car! If you used a crate or carrier as your pet’s safe place, then you can easily take them with you. You can also use a pet travel safety harness, like Oz’s Sleepypod Clickit Sport dog travel harness, to safely secure your pet in the vehicle during evacuation.
7. Know where you emergency shelter is located and call before a disaster to make sure they accept pets.
You can find a wealth of information on how to make a pet emergency plan, how to protect your pet during a disaster and so much more on Ready.gov.
Have you experienced a disaster or hurricane with your pets?
Is your pet prepared?