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Hurricane Season is Almost Here... Are you Prepared?

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June 1 marks the official start of Hurricane Season in Florida. Although we can't predict when disaster will strike, the key to weather safety is to prepare your best. The same rules apply to people as they do to pets.

Prepare NOW to care for your pets if you need to evacuate or have a shelter in place. Put together a GO bag with everything you might need. That should include:

  • At least a week’s worth of food and water for your pet, along with feeding dishes. Some people like to individually bag each meal so there’s no worries about measuring food when not at home. Be sure to pack a non-electric can opener if you’ll need one for canned food.
  • Any medications or daily supplements. Don’t forget flea and tick preventative.
  • Be sure to have collars, leashes, harnesses and carriers. If you’ll need a crate or carrier, head to your local independent pet store as soon as possible to purchase one. Stores may sell out of necessary items so don’t wait until the last minute. Most shelters will require some sort of pet containment, so be prepared.
  • Plan your evacuation route and where you’ll stay. Make reservations if necessary. Locate a pet friendly hotel or shelter.
  • Be sure that your pet wears a collar with ID tags that list your cell phone number in case he or she gets lost.
  • Print out a health history and vaccination records. If your pet needs to be kenneled or housed in a shelter, he’ll need proof of current vaccine status.
  • Think about specific needs of different kinds of pets. You may want a battery operated air pump or filter for your fish tank, a microwaveable or chemical heat pack for temperature-dependent reptiles or baby animals. Crate or cage covers, a litter box with litter and scoop for your cat, a supply of poop bags for your dogs. You might also want to have some toys and treats on hand.

All this is in addition to your own personal preparation — flashlights, batteries, radio, charged cell phones, vehicle chargers, a full tank of gas and a supply of food and water for yourself and your human family.