CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – Roughly a week into hurricane season, we are helping you prepare before a storm hits with a focus on your four-legged family members.
Clay Humane urges animal owners to know the dangers associated with hurricane season.
The non-profit says owners need to act now to make sure their pets are prepared sooner than later.
“It’s never a major emergency until you’re told to evacuate,” said Dr. Christian Broadhurst, Clay Humane Senior Veterinarian.
Being prepared ahead of time increases your pet’s safety during a major weather event.
“You need to have your medical records, you need to have pet food, you need to have water, you need to have a leash, if you’re bringing a cat, you’re going to need to bring a litter box. All things that you should have ready to go before you get the notice that it’s time to evacuate,” said Dr. Broadhurst.
Dr. Broadhurst says there are four things you should do now to get your pets ready for this year’s hurricane season.
Microchip animals. Pets are at a high risk of getting lost during a natural disaster. Having your pet microchipped could help you relocate them quicker.
“Identification is also extremely important during evacuations. A lot of animals were left behind during the most recent evacuations and if your animal is not microchipped or tagged or both you may not be reunited with them when you return home,” said Dr. Broadhurst.
Update your contact information on your pet’s ID tag.
Build a disaster kit that includes an animal first aid kit, ideally two weeks’ worth of food, medications, copies of pet’s medical records, extra collars and leashes, and an updated picture.
Know where to go. Check shelters to ensure they are pet friendly and know your evacuation route in case you need to find shelters or boarding facilities in a short amount of time.
You can use these links to find shelters in your area:
“That is by far the worst thing you can do. There are lots of pet-friendly shelters, locally if you’re going to relocate out of state there are definitely pet-friendly shelters where you’re going. You may have to do a little extra research,” said Dr. Broadhurst.
If a storm does hit, Dr. Broadhurst says post-hurricane injuries are common, so you’ll need to check your yard for debris before letting your pet roam.