If your family owns pets, be prepared to care for them if disaster strikes. Should the day come when a hurricane or other threat forces you to evacuate your home, plan to evacuate your pets, too.
- Red Cross and other shelters are not allowed to accept pets, so check in advance for hotels or motels that accept pets, or make arrangements with friends, relatives, vets, boarding facilities or animal shelters.
- Assemble a pet disaster kit in an easy-to-carry bag, including medications, medical records and first aid kit, leashes or carriers to keep pets under control, current photos (in case they get lost), food, drinking water, bowls, cat litter and pan, can opener, a favorite toy or two, and care information, plus your vet’s phone number in case you board your pets somewhere.
- At first sign of trouble, get your pets inside so you can pack them up quickly, confirm pet care arrangements, check to make sure animal ID is secure and up-to-date, and check your disaster kit.
- If you must evacuate, your pets may panic and behave oddly, so keep them secure at all times and handle them carefully.
- For birds and reptiles, you’ll want a secure travel cage, a blanket wrap for warmth or a mister for cooling, and sliced fresh fruit or vegetables with high water content.