It’s hurricane season: do you and your family have a plan in case of natural disaster? Make sure you include your pet!

The Bark Busters answer our questions on what to consider when you prepare.

In the event of an emergency, what should we pack for our pets?

Bark Busters:

Whether you stay home or evacuate, keep a pet emergency kit with your family’s emergency kit. Use plastic zipper bags to protect the items. Items should include:

-Collar with ID tags and sturdy leash

-At least a two-week supply of each pet’s medications

-Photocopies of health records and a recent photo taken of you with your pets

-At least a two-week supply of pet food and bottled water, and bowls for each

-First-aid supplies, including bandages, tape, tweezers and antibacterial ointment

-Secure, covered carrier/crate (large enough for your pet to completely turn around)

-Favorite toy or bedding (to help reduce the stress of unfamiliar surroundings)

-Cleaning supplies and disposable trash bags or newspaper for cleanup

What other things should you consider?

Bark Busters:

Be sure pets are wearing current identification. Even better, get a Bark Busters WaggTagg or have them microchipped. This form of ID helps ensure your pets are returned to you if they are lost.

Keep pets current on all vaccinations.

Get a window decal so that rescue workers know there are pets in your home. 

In the event of an emergency, where should we take our pets?

Bark Busters:

Research a safe place to take your pets

Many emergency shelters do not allow pets. Ask friends or relatives if they can shelter you and your pets.

Look for pet-friendly facilities and lodging in your vicinity. Do some research on the internet.

Call your local pet boarding facilities, humane societies, and animal control shelters to learn about their restrictions and policies. Keep a list of these facilities in your pet emergency kit.

If you evacuate your home, do everything you can to take your pets with you. Animals left behind can be injured, lost or killed.

If you absolutely must leave pets behind, secure them in a bathroom with drinking water and leave out plenty of food. Be sure to alert local officials immediately that your pets are in your home.

What should we do during the emergency?

Bark Busters:

If you stay at home during the emergency, take your pets with you to a safe room such as a basement.

Put your pet on a leash or in a covered carrier. This ensures you know where he is, provides a naturally safe environment for him, and allows you to move him to safe areas as needed.

Always remain calm. If you act anxious your pet will sense this and feed off your mood. 

What should be done once the emergency has ended?

Bark Busters:

If emergency officials advise you to remain in your home, keep your pets in your home, too. Once emergency officials say your environment is safe, walk pets on a leash until they become re-oriented to the area and your home.

If you have lost your pet, contact local animal control officers to find out where lost animals can be recovered. Bring along a photo of you with your pets to help shelter workers identify your missing pet.