June is also the beginning of something more frightening
than swimsuit season and that is the Atlantic hurricane season
! The forecasters are predicting a 70% likelihood of 10 to 16 named storms
with winds of 39 m.p.h. or more. Out of those storms, forecasters predict 5 to 9 could become hurricanes
which include 1 to 4 major ones. Of course, there is no way to tell whether any of these potential storms will strike the U.S. coastline.
Growing up in Louisiana, hurricanes were a fact of life
. Hurricane Katrina was devastating to the New Orleans area and impacted life for years. As a new resident of Texas, last year’s Hurricane Harvey
is fresh on everyone’s mind. Many families are still displaced as the rebuilding continues. Since we can never know whether a major hurricane will hit, it is always best to be prepared
That includes having an evacuation plan for your pets
. Hurricane Katrina served as a wake-up call for animal shelters
after more than 200,000 pets were displaced. It is estimated that at least 44% of residents refused to evacuate because they didn’t want to leave their pets behind
. This caused many shelters to change their rules and accept families with their pets. Always check the area where you will evacuate to find a place that will allow you to bring your pets
6 Tips to Ensure Your Pet’s Safety During a Disaster
1. Have your pet microchipped. A collar with your information printed on it is important but collars and tags are easily lost in disasters. A microchip can be the difference in reuniting you with your pet. Make sure the chip’s information is up-to-date.
2. Prepare a “Go-Kit” of pet supplies that is accessible in an emergency. Things to include:
first aid supplies & emergency care guidebook
- a minimum of 3-days supply of pet food in a waterproof container & bowls
- bottle water
- a safety harness & leash
- waste clean-up bags
medications/medical records in plastic bag
veterinarian name/number taped to inside of your container
- any information on your pet’s feeding or behavioral issues
- comfort toys
3. Display a pet rescue decal on your front door or window so first responders know there is a pet in the house.
4. Know where your pets hide when they are frightened. You will need to be able to find them quickly during an evacuation.
5. Have an up-to-date photo of your pet in the event you get separated.
6. Have a crate or kennel that you can transport your pets in during an evacuation. It is helpful to crate-train your pet in advance to reduce the stress on both of you.
It is easy to put off preparing for a disaster
thinking that it either won’t happen to you or you’ll have time to get everything together. That is a nice thought but the reality of hurricanes or any natural disaster is that they are indiscriminate. Take a little time to make an emergency kit for your pets
. I hope that you never have to use it but it’s always best to be prepared