Q105 Storm Center

Q105 Storm Center

Q105 Storm Center

On June 1st, we were immediately reminded it was the beginning of the 2023 hurricane season when the National Hurricane Center reported that we had a tropical depression in the Gulf of Mexico – the second cyclone in the north Atlantic this year.  The first was a sub-tropical storm that formed briefly in the Atlantic basis way back in January.  The tropical depression that ushered in the storm season never made landfall, but it was a good wake-up call to make sure you have everything you need if and when a storm or hurricane actually threatens us in Tampa Bay. Many people remember to pack an evacuation kit for themselves, but scramble to get something together for their pets. Don’t forget these things when putting together your hurricane season checklist for your pets.

You should have already pre-planned with a storm checklist and supplies for your family, but have you taken your pets into account?  Do you know what to do for your pets, or where you would take them if a storm threatened your home?  Every year across the south, people refuse to leave their homes because they won’t abandon their dogs and cats.  Their hearts are in the right place, but their inaction often leads to unnecessary tragedy.  Some of those tragedies could be avoided with having an actionable plan in place before the emergency comes banging on your door.

Floridadisaster.org, a division of Emergency Management, urges Floridians to make a plan and prepare when it comes to your pets, starting with having somewhere to take your pets.  Do not leave them behind, and do not stay behind with them.  If you are leaving the vicinity, make sure you have carriers for your pets that you can put in the car.  If you are going to a local shelter, scope them out far in advance to find out which ones take pets.  Service animals who assist people with disabilities are allowed in Red Cross shelters, but that’s not the case everywhere, so you definitely want to plan ahead.

If you plan on going to a hotel, call ahead – way ahead to make sure they take pets.  If they don’t, find another hotel.  You could also talk to friends or relatives out of town, and make reciprocal deals to take each other’s pets during a bad storm where you or they will have to leave your homes. If and when a storm approaches, your pets may act differently due to stress.  Keep your dogs leashed and your cats in carriers.  The better your plans are laid out for your pets, the more time you’ll have to deal with other pressing contingencies.  Get more tips from the State of Florida right here.

Once you know where you’re going, here are things you will need to take with you for your pets:

  • Medications and medical record

    Be sure to store them in a waterproof container. Don’t forget a first aid kit.

    Puppy dog and stethoscope isolated on blue background. Little dog on reception at veterinary doctor in vet clinic. Pet health care and animals concept.

    Getty Royalty Free

  • Sturdy leashes, harnesses, and/or carriers

    Jack Russell Terrier against color background holding leash

    Getty Royalty Free

    Some pets have the habit to bolt when outside. Make sure they’re secured in their carrier in the case of evacuation.

     

  • Photo of you and your pet(s)

    In the event you are separated from your pet, having an updated photo with your pet will help validate pet ownership.

    Young caucasian woman student female pet owner taking selfie photo image on smart phone, having video call conversation with dog jack russell terrier online in park

    Getty Royalty Free

  • Food, potable water, bowls, cat litter/pan, and can opener.

    If you evacuate to a hotel or family members house, they might not be prepared with food, litter, and water bowls. Make sure you bring enough to last at least a week.

    Hygiene for pets. Dry loose cat litter is collected in a plastic tray with a shovel.

    Getty Royalty Free

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