Today is the official start of Hurricane Season. Last week was tax-free preparation week so we know you stocked up on your batteries, generators, and bottled water. Have you thought about what to do with your animal family members, four-legged, fuzzy, and feathered?
The National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting a 70 percent likelihood of 6 to 11 named storms this year. “Three to six of those storms will become hurricanes with top sustained winds of at least 74 miles an hour, and maybe zero or possibly two of those hurricanes will grow to major strength. That’s Category Three or higher, with top sustained winds of at least 111 miles an hour. Those ranges and those numbers are below average for a hurricane season, but I want to emphasize again below average doesn’t mean no pitches get thrown our way,” said NOAA Administrator Kathryn Sullivan.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers the following recommendations for pets in case of a disaster:
BEFORE THE DISASTER
- Make sure your pets are current on their vaccinations. Pet shelters may require proof of vaccines. Put the relevant paperwork somewhere easily accessible.
- If your pet requires a carrier, be sure it is the appropriate size– carriers should be large enough for the animal to stand and turn around.
- Find a safe place to take your pet in the event of an emergency. Specialized pet shelters, animal control shelters, veterinary clinics and friends and relatives out of harm’s way are all potential refuges for your pet during a disaster.
- Contact hotels outside your immediate area to check policies on accepting pets and restrictions on number, size and species. Ask if “no pet” policies can be waived in an emergency.
DURING THE DISASTER
- Bring all pets into the house.
- Make sure all dogs and cats are wearing collars and securely fastened, up-to-date identification. Attach the phone number and address of your temporary shelter, or that of a friend or relative outside the disaster area.
- Get your pet disaster supplies “go kit” to be ready to take at a moment’s notice.
PET DISASTER SUPPLY KIT
- Proper identification, including immunization records
- A current photograph of you and your pet together
- Ample food and water supply
- A carrier or cage
- A first aid kit
- Collar and leash
- Familiar items, such as favorite toys, treats or bedding
- Sanitation supplies, such as a litter box, newspapers, paper towels and plastic bags
Some more important tips:
Consider asking your vet about microchipping so your pets can be identified right away in case you’re separated.
Inform your friends and neighbors of your pet plans.
Visit the wavy.com Hurricane Guide to make sure your entire household is ready for hurricane season!