What to pack for pets in your hurricane supply kit

Bags of pet food are displayed on a shelf in a Houston pet supply store July 4, 2019.
Bags of pet food are displayed on a shelf in a Houston pet supply store July 4, 2019. (KPRC)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season is here in full swing and it’s important to plan now for a storm. Alongside preparing for your family, it’s just as important to plan for our four-legged friends.

We all know someone who waits until the last minute to prepare for an incoming storm, and in the words of Christian Smith from the American Red Cross, “I’m afraid the last-minute is already here.”

Stores are already limiting items on the shelves due to COVID-19, so it’s important to gather the items you need for your pets around the clock when you see them in stock.

Here is a list of some key items to have in your pet supply kit:

  • Medical records
  • Two weeks of food, water, and medications
  • A current picture of your pet
  • Some sort of bedding for them to sleep on
  • Treats and toys to keep them entertained
  • Extra leash or pet carrier

“Basically this is the way I look at it -- make their own special disaster supply kit, you have a pet supply kit," said Smith.

If you plan on heading to a local shelter during a hurricane, make sure you check to see which shelters allow pets and which ones don’t.

“Normally there may be three or four locations. You have specific requirements. But in the case of COVID and what’s going on now, you want to pay really close attention to all of the local emergency management," said Smith.

Northeast Florida counties like Duval, Clay, Nassau and St. Johns all have shelters that allow pets and have a list of requirements on their emergency management websites.

“Every county is set up differently, depending on the size and scope of the areas,” said Smith.

When it comes to the specific locations of these shelters, those will be released once a storm threatens Northeast Florida.

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