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Is Your Pet Prepared for a Natural Disaster?

Everyone knows tomorrow is the official start of summer but did you also know that during June is the beginning of hurricane season? That June is the second most active month for tornadoes? When these storms strike we often know the best ways to protect ourselves, but what about our pets? Below are some tips on how you can be prepared to keep your pet safe when disaster strikes.

Prepare A First-Aid Kit

Below is a suggested list of supplies from, Dog Tipper, to bring in a waterproof kit with your dog or cat in the event of a disaster or an evacuation situation such as a hurricane. 

  • Phone Numbers and Directions
    • The address of the owner’s home, their veterinary clinic, their emergency clinic, and a poison control center
      • It may also be a good idea to keep a few copies of photos of your pet in case they are lost and need to be located.
  • Equipment and Supplies
    • Muzzles, leash, collar, scissors, flea comb, tweezers, pliers, nail clippers, flashlight
    • Paper towels, towels, tourniquet, cotton swabs, cotton balls, bandage material, bandage tape, eye dropper, oral syringe
    • Disposable gloves, ice cream sticks or a yardstick (in case you need a splint), emergency ice/heat packs, liquid dish soap, and saline solution
  • Nutritional Support
    • Rehydration supplies (pedialyte, etc), sugar solution (karo syrup) and a collapsible bowl
  • Pack Medications
    • Any prescriptions, alcohol, betadine, eye rinse, antibiotic ointment, hydrogen peroxide, cortisone spray/ointment, ear-cleaning solution, sterile saline, antidiarrheal liquid or tablets

Always be sure to frequently check your kit for expired products and restock if needed.

Tornado Safety Tips

Hurricanes are becoming increasingly more common in the southeastern region and could potentially lead to an evacuation. A far more likely disaster in this area are tornadoes. Unlike hurricanes, if you’re in the path of one of these deadly storms, there is often little to no time to act, making preparation beforehand key. Here are some tips to prepare your pets in case of a twister:

  • Identify Your Pets: An ID tag or a microchip are the best way to ensure that you will be reunited with your pet. HSNEGA’s Healthy Pet Clinic offers low-cost microchipping.
  • Keep Small Animals Indoors: With quick spin-up tornadoes, there is often little time to bring a pet inside. Keeping them mainly indoors helps eliminate some of the time it takes to get them to a storm-safe location such as a lower level or basement away from windows doors.
  • Practice The Route to Your Safety Location: Storms are often a scary situation for both animals and owners alike. During these storms, they may become frightened and hard to move or locate. That is why practicing leashing a dog, walking the route to these locations or crating a cat once or twice a month can become life-saving in the event of a real emergency.
  • Secure Cats: Cats often hide when they are frightened so crating them is often the best way to ensure they are protected during a storm. Redrover.org recommends crating them and then placing them in a safe location like a downstairs closet or basement.
  • Move Caged Animals: For our other pets such as rodents, reptiles and more be sure to bring them to a safe location early, such as when a tornado watch, not a warning, has been issued as a precaution. If a terrarium or aquarium cannot be moved, it is always a good idea to cover it with a mattress or other large, soft objects.
  • Secure Outdoor Animals: Horses and other livestock need to be moved to a sturdy building or pre-identified safe location. If possible, place identifiable items such as a halter on these animals so they can be returned if lost.
  • Get An Emergency Kit: This kit may be needed if you or your pet is injured. Adding photos of your animals to this kit may also be necessary in the event you are trying to locate the animal if lost during the storm or you need to prove ownership.
  • Know Where to Search: Be sure to check your local shelter, humane society and animal control as these are often where pets end up when lost.

These storms often strike without much warning so preparing ahead of time can mean a world of difference for your pets. If you haven’t done so, prepare yourself for when bad weather strikes and be sure to keep an eye on local weather reports for any watches or warnings.

For microchipping and other basic pet wellness needs, stop by HSNEGA’s Healthy Pet Clinic located at 845 W. Ridge Rd, Tuesday-Friday 9:30 am-6 pm or Saturday 9:30 am-1:30 pm. You can also visit HSNEGA.org/wellness-clinic/ for a list of our services.

Resources:
https://www.ustornadoes.com/2016/04/06/annual-and-monthly-tornado-averages-across-the-united-states/
https://www.dogtipper.com/tip/2019/06/creating-a-pet-first-aid-kit.html?goal=0_5c226eee0e-9b32787e0b-96979033&mc_cid=9b32787e0b&mc_eid=24bf1d23ba
https://redrover.org/news/tornado-safety-tips-pets/