Happy October! I wish I could say it’s a lovely Fall day with sunshine but it’s been almost an entire week since we’ve seen the sun in Virginia Beach. We are still getting drenched by a coastal storm and now Hurricane Joaquin is heading our way this weekend. Unfortunately, this isn’t our first rodeo,,err hurricane. I’ve lived on the coast my entire life so I know a thing or two about how to prep for a hurricane. I wanted to give you a few pet friendly hurricane prep tips!
1. Prepare a Hurricane Kit for Pets
Do this BEFORE things get real! I would suggest putting everything into an overnight bag or a water safe plastic container. Your pet emergency kit should at the very least include:
- Medications, medical records, current photos, and a pet first aid kit. Also include a list of important phone numbers such as your vet!
- A leash, harness, and collar. I’d probably put an extra leash in there just in case!
- At least five days worth of food and water. Don’t forget the bowls and a can opener!
- A crate, pet bed, and your pet’s favoirte toys.
I’ve created a downloadable/printable checklist here:
2. Identification, Please!
If your pet doesn’t have a collar with an ID on, go do that right now! We made Chuy’s tag at that neat little machine at PetSmart. Make sure that the tags are up to date and include your cell phone number! This is one of the best things you can do to help save your pet’s life in the case that they are separated from you. This should be in addition to microchipping!
3. Create a Plan
We are totally at the mercy of Mother Nature when it comes to hurricanes. Preparation is the best thing you can do. Come up with a plan in case you have to leave your home. In that plan, think about what you will do with your pets. Don’t leave your pets behind if you have to evacuate! Take them with you! That leads me to the next tip . . .
4. Find Pet Friendly Shelters
If you have to evacuate, find out in advance which evacuation shelters allow pets. I know, I know. It kills me that many shelters deny pets which forces some pet parents to either stay home when it’s not safe or leave their animals behind. I could never even imagine leaving Chuy behind! It’s NOT an option. Take your pets with you . . . but find out where they will be accepted before the chaos begins. You can start by contacting your local animal shelter as they usually have information about this.
5. Stay Alert and Educate Yourself
I hear so many people say, “I’d rather not bring the negativity into my life by watching the news.” When it comes to natural disasters like hurricanes, ignorance is not bliss! You need to stay tuned and take it seriously. Stay calm but cautious. Panic does nothing and these things can’t be prevented. All you can do is plan for the worst case scenario and pray for the best. Keep a backup phone battery like the Mophie charged in case the power goes out. There are multiple weather and news apps you can download to stay connected. I definitely recommend the apps:
Social media is a fabulous tool for up to the second updates. I also recommend one of those old fashioned radios with some spare batteries. Remember those?!
Stay safe! Here are some additional resources you can checkout: