Hurricane season is here and Best Friends Animal Society, a leading animal welfare organization working to end the killing of cats and dogs in shelters by 2025, encourages people to have an emergency plan for their pets. Whether preparing your home, evacuating, or moving into a temporary relief center, knowing what to do and where to go is essential.
“Developing and practicing emergency preparedness for hurricanes provides the peace of mind that all of your family members, including your pets will be okay when disaster strikes,” said Sharon Hawa, Senior Manager of Emergency Services at Best Friends Animal Society. “Many times, evacuations are required with little to no notice. Having items on hand that you and your pet may need allows for an efficient exit. A few essentials to include in a pet’s go-bag include, a pet first aid kit, 3-5 days of their food and water, a collar and current ID tag, a crate labeled with their name, as well as towels and blankets.”
Tips to feel prepared this hurricane season include:
- Connect with neighbors to ensure someone can care for and/or evacuate pets if residents are unable to do so.
- Bring pets indoors at the first disaster warning signs.
- When evacuating, cover pets’ crates with a sheet to help keep them calm.
- Ensure pets are microchipped and the chip is registered to the correct name and current phone number.
- Determine where all household members–including pets–will go in an emergency and identify several evacuation routes to get there, since one route may not be accessible in the event of a disaster.
- Create a pet go-bag that includes 3-5 days of their food and water, a collar and current ID tag, a crate labeled with their name, towels and blankets, and a pet first-aid kit.
- Keep copies of your pets’ microchip information, current photos, vaccination records and contact information, and a list of phone numbers for animal shelters, animal hospitals and hotels in one easily accessible place where they can be grabbed at a moment’s notice for a quick exit.
For those who need to find shelter during a disaster, it is recommended to call a local emergency information number (211 or 511) and identify the closest pet-friendly disaster shelter or emergency pet shelter where pets can go for temporary care. Organizations such as the Red Cross will often provide support to residents displaced during a disaster, and local animal welfare groups may provide emergency shelter for displaced pets, or even temporary foster homes until owners can recover.
For additional details on preparing pets for weather-related emergencies, along with information about adoption and fostering, visit bestfriends.org.
About Best Friends Animal Society
Best Friends Animal Society is a leading animal welfare organization working to end the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters by 2025. Founded in 1984, Best Friends is a pioneer in the no-kill movement and has helped reduce the number of animals killed in shelters from an estimated 17 million per year to around 378,000. Best Friends runs lifesaving programs across the country, as well as the nation’s largest no-kill animal sanctuary. Working collaboratively with a network of more than 4,300 animal welfare and shelter partners, and community members nationwide, Best Friends is working to Save Them All®. For more information, visit bestfriends.org.