3 Ways to Prepare Your Pet for Hurricane Season

June 9, 2014 | By More
Pet Emergency Plan

Jenn and Abe post storm


I live in Florida and living in Florida means that current temps are already in the 90’s, the humidity is at an all-time high, hair days are almost always bad (at least for me) and most importantly: Hurricane Season has officially begun.

Many residents are preparing their homes and their families for a potential storm. But, Florida is certainly not the only state prone to natural disasters.  Tornados, fires, and earthquakes hit parts of our country far too frequently and very often with little to no notice.

Do you have an evacuation plan for you and your family?  What about your pet? Do you have a plan for your furred, feathered and finned family members?

To safely flee the scene with Fido in tow:

1.  Know where you will go. You can’t leave your pet behind, because even if they do survive the storm they could escape through a broken window, door and be lost, stolen or worse.  Much worse.  We have all seen pictures and watched news coverage on pets lost and left behind in disaster situations.

The good news is, many hotels/motels are pet friendly and counties nationwide offer safe shelter for pets and their families.  Requirements vary from county to county, but to be safe, have your pet up to date on vaccinations and call to find out if preregistration is required.

*Most importantly, remember that in an emergency situation, county shelters will be on a first come first serve basis.  It is better to reserve county options as your last resort.

To research pet friendly accommodations in your area, the following websites are helpful:




Pet Parents in West Central Florida (my stomping grounds), here are your pet friendly county shelter links:

Citrus County

Desoto County- Unfortunately, Desoto County does not offer a pet friendly shelter. 

Hillsborough County

Pasco County                         

Pinellas County

Polk County

Manatee County

Hernando County

Sarasota County

Pet Poison

2.  Vaccines, ID Tags and Micro-chips– Now is the time to make sure your pet is up to date and properly identifiable.  In the event of an evacuation, shelters and hotel/motel accommodations will require proof of rabies vaccinations and others (state and local laws prevail).  A pet id and microchip are the only way to better your chances of having your lost pet returned to you.

3.  Pet Evacuation Kit– Prior to a storm or other natural disaster, create an evacuation kit for each pet in your home.  Kits should include:

a.  Up to Date Photos of your pet from all sides

b.  Pet meds, medical records and ownership papers

c.  Extra collar, leash

d.  Food/water dishes, 14 day supply of food and H2O, manual can opener

e.  Waste pick up bags, cleanser and disinfectant to handle

f.  Pet Medical Emergency Kit- tweezers, scissors, gauze pads and tape, antiseptic, antibiotic cream, buffered baby aspirin, benadryl, plastic gloves and a thermometer

g.  Airline approved pet carrier- An airline approved carrier is required by many shelters and is the safest way to transport your pet.  Make sure the crate offers your pet ample room to stand up, turn around and lay down comfortably

Early preparation is key!  Be safe this season.


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About the Author ()

Jenn Fadal is a national Pet Wellness & Lifestyle Expert. In addition to being the founder of her own holistic pet boutique, Wag, this Tampa native can be seen frequently on Media General’s Daytime Television across the country, as well as on FOX, NBC and ABC. She is also a writer and subject matter expert for various publications.

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