Disaster Planning for Your Pet

The first rule to remember is, if you evacuate, take your pets. If it is not safe for you, it is not safe for them. Proper planning before a hurricane could save your life and that of your pet. If you live in an area which is evacuated, you must make preparations for your family and your pets before the threat of a storm or disaster. Pets should not be left in an empty house or to roam free. Animals turned loose to fend for themselves are likely to become victims of starvation, predators, contaminated food or water, or accidents.

Kennel Facility

If you board your pet at a kennel facility, reclaim your pet as quickly as possible because chances are, the facilities will be overcrowded and understaffed.

Following the Disaster

The first couple of days following the disaster, be sure to put a leash on your pets when they go outside until they become familiar with their home again. Familiar scents and landmarks may be altered and your pet may become confused and lost. The behavior of your pets may change after an emergency; normally quiet and friendly pets may become aggressive or defensive. Watch animals closely when outdoors because snakes and other dangerous animals may move into the area. It's also important to keep a close eye on pets outside due to possible hazards of downed power lines. Be alert for rotted substances which your pet may find when released into your yard.