Six tips to keep pets safe during storm season

While no one is immune from the devastation of a natural disaster, preparing before a storm hits is key to keeping everyone – including your pets – safe.

Here are six ideas to keep in mind for your pet as you map out your disaster preparedness plan.

– Have your pet microchipped. In the event of an emergency – natural or otherwise – you want to ensure your pet can get back to you if you’re separated. 

Collars and ID tags, though important, can break or detach, microchips are more fool-proof and insterted under your pet’s skin. 

– Bring your pets inside at the first sign of danger. Disasters can be disorienting for pets, and they could run away or hurt themselves reacting to loud noises and strange changes to their landscape. Also, rain, flying debris and high winds pose a danger.

– If you have to leave, keep your pet with you. Keep them on a leash or in a pet carrier so they don’t escape even in a “familiar” neighborhood.

– Determine where you’ll go. Coordinate, in advance, to stay with friends or family members, or find a pet- friendly hotel outside the disaster area. 

– Create a pet-friendly resource list. Including pet-friendly shelters, veterinarians and boarding facilities. 

– Pack an emergency bag. You’ll want emergency provisions packed for your pet well in advance of a catastrophe so you can evacuate your home quickly if needed. 

The bag should include a pet first aid kit; enough food and bottled water for a week; medications; cleanup supplies; food and water dishes; bags (or litter for cats) for collecting waste; an extra collar and leash; photocopies of medical records; towels; recent photos of your pets; and a favorite toy or chewy for comfort.