Hurricane season began June 1, 2014 – have you prepared for it?
The Houston area has always been prone to hurricanes and strong summer storms and the best way to protect your family is to have a plan in place before disaster strikes.
Here are some tips to keeping your pets safe during a hurricane or other natural disaster:
1. Photograph each pet and store these pictures with other important documents in sealed/waterproof plastic bags. This will help with identification of your pets if they get separated from you.
2. Make sure that all animals are up-to-date on their vaccinations. Keep your vaccination records on hand, in a sealed/waterproof plastic bag.
Keep all of your family records safe from water damage by putting them in a sealed plastic bag!
3. All dogs and cats should wear collars and identification tags with current information. Dogs should wear nylon or leather collars only. Never place tags on training collars or choke chains. Cats should wear a breakaway/safety collar.
4. Pack a portable pet disaster kit to include food, water, medication, vaccination records and cleaning supplies. You should plan on enough supplies for at least two weeks. Take your pet’s favorite toy or blanket with you to help minimize his/her stress. You may be scared and worried about what is going on and your pet feels the same way – help them through any situations that may come up.
5. Make sure your pet has a safe traveling carrier that has been labeled with your emergency contact information. To make sure that your pet is ready to evacuate, train them using your traveling carrier. Getting them used to their carrier will help save time and your pet will be more comfortable.
6. If you must evacuate, take your pet with you! Never leave a family member behind! If conditions are unsafe for people, they are unsafe for pets. Pet owners should identify an evacuation route and make temporary housing arrangements before a storm hits. This often means finding a boarding facility or animal shelter outside of the evacuation area and in the area where the family will be staying.
7. It is particularly important to plan for horses and farm animals. Their size, shelter and transportation needs make planning crucial.
For more information on what you should do to help keep your animals safe this hurricane season, visit www.HoustonSPCA.org.
Keep your pets safe and have a wonderful Summer!