Hurricane 101 for you and your pets
NEVER LEAVE YOUR PET UNATTENDED OR BEHIND
What to do ahead of a storm:
1. Have your pet micro-chipped
This is a permanent means of identification. Include a back-up phone number of an out-of-state friend/family member. Email a copy of the paperwork to yourself so you can access it even if you’re not at home.
2. Make an ID tag while you wait at a pet store or Walmart for under $10
A tag allows the finder to contact you immediately without taking your pet to a shelter or vet clinic to be scanned for a microchip. During a hurricane, clinics and shelters may be closed for days or weeks! Include your cell phone number, not your home phone number – you won’t be there!
3. Have a plan
Plan where to take your pet if you’re unable to bring them with you during an evacuation – enlist the help of a trusted friend or family member.
4. Take photos of your pet from all angles
Include a close-up of their face. Show unusual coloring or markings. Upload pictures to an online photo s5. Register your pet as “Safe” throughHelpingLostPets.com.
It's free. Easily update to “Lost” in an emergency without searching for photos when you are panicked.
More: Hurricane tips to help children feel safe
If you need to evacuate
1. Get a Sharpie
Write your phone number on your pet's collar (or their belly) if you don’t have an ID tag.
2. Never leave your pet behind!
Not all emergency shelters allow pets. See "pet-friendly shelters" below for information on bringing your pets to a shelter.
3. Have your paperwork
You’ll need proof of vaccinations for shelters and hotels.
4. Don't forget
Bring pet medications, vet records, microchip records (in a waterproof container), kitty litter/box, food, dishes, manual can opener, and water.
5. Take control
Use a leash and properly fitted collar with legible ID tag. Harness or martingale collar recommended.
6. Crate your dog/cat
Be sure crate is sturdy and door securely fastened. Check crate door/firm grip on leash before opening car doors or hotel door. Run seat belt through leash handle. Keeps dog with car if there’s an accident or from bolting when the door opens.
7. Double check
After stopping for gas/food, be sure all pets are in car before driving away.
8. Place a sign on hotel door “Pets inside. Do not open door.”
Secure pets when left alone in room so housekeeping doesn’t accidentally let them out.
Hurricane shelters should be used as a last resort. If you need to evacuate and you have nowhere else to go, you can go to a pet-friendly shelter.
1. Check shelter openings
Pay attention to news broadcasts and social media to find out where your county's pet-friendly shelter is and when it will open.
Many pet-friendly shelters require pre-registration. Make sure you have your pet's paperwork.
3. Bring supplies
You'll need a sturdy crate, bed, leash and food for your pet, along with supplies for yourself. Shelters do not provide supplies.