Prepping for Hurricane Season

As residents of Southeast Texas, we are no strangers to hurricane season, which officially begins June 1 and ends November 30. 

Each year, we fill gas tanks, store up on food and water supplies, and pack go-bags. However, as part of our hurricane preparedness, it’s also important to plan for our furry family members

Here are some tips on how to prepare:

  1. Prepare a pet emergency kit:

To avoid scrambling to gather what you need, have hurricane safety supplies, including a pet emergency kit, set aside in an easily accessible place. 

Here is a list of what should be included in your pet emergency kit:

  • Enough bottled water to last one week or more
  • Nonperishable food (include a can opener if needed)
  • Food dishes and water bowls
  • Current photos of your pets
  • Medical records/proof of vaccination
  • Prescription medications (one-month supply)
  • Information on feeding schedules, medical conditions, behavior problems, and the name and number of your veterinarian in case you have to foster or board your pets.
  • ID tags on your pets’ collars or harnesses
  • Cat litter and litter box
  • Puppy pads
  • Plastic bags or poop bags
  • Extra leash, harness, and/or carrier for pet transportation
  • Comfort items: pet bed, toys, treats
  • Pet first aid kit
  1. Microchip your pets:

During the frenzy of an evacuation, pets may become spooked and run away. Microchipping your pet can ensure the two of you are reunited if separated. Also, make sure your pet has a properly fitted collar + tag with current contact information. 

  1. Ensure your pet is up-to-date on vaccinations + meds. 

It is crucial that your pets are up-to-date on their annual vaccinations, even more so during hurricane season when they may be exposed to contaminated flood waters and diseases. 

Also, obtain vaccination and medical records from your vet. (Many shelters require proof of current vaccinations to reduce the spread of disease.) Be sure to write down any care or medical instructions and seal this information in a waterproof bag with the necessary medications. 

Check to see if your pet will need a refill of medications and order in advance if so. Don’t forget your pet’s preventive medications for heartworm prevention and fleas and ticks. After a natural disaster, vet clinics may be closed and delivery may be interrupted. 

  1. Be able to identify pet-friendly shelters.

Not all evacuation centers or shelters accept pets. Knowing which hotels and motels along your evacuation route will accept pets in an emergency is a relief during a disaster. Call ahead for reservations if you know you will have to evacuate and ask if no pet policies can be waived during an emergency. 

Prepare a list of those who could care for your animals in an emergency as a backup plan. Whether a family member or friend, knowing that your pet has a designated caregiver in case something happens will provide peace of mind. Make sure this caregiver has a list of your pet’s food, medications, and general routine.  

Additional Tips:

  • Jot down multiple veterinarians’ numbers in case your regular vet cannot be reached due to the disaster. If evacuating, make sure to include the numbers of vets where you are headed.
  • Make sure your pet is comfortable in a travel carrier. Include your furry family member in evacuation drills so that they can become accustomed. 
  • Know how your pet reacts to traveling and be sure to have a current prescription if your animal requires meds due to becoming car sick or anxious when traveling.