Natural disasters can strike at any time so it's imperative to have a plan in place in advance. When making your evacuation plans and getting the supplies you will need, keep your animals in mind as well. For the safety of your pets and for your own peace of mind, the LA/SPCA advises the following procedures for hurricane season.
At The Beginning of Hurricane Season:
- Make a commitment to take your animals with you when you evacuate. Leaving your pet tied up outside to a tree or a fence is not an option. Leaving your pet indoors is risky due to floods from tidal surges which could trap your animal in a house filling quickly with water.
- Get your pet's evacuation supplies ready to go. This includes ample supplies of pet foods, kitty litter, water and any required medicines. Also pack extra bowls, a litter box, plastic bags, newspaper, paper towels and cleaning supplies in case of accidents wherever you go.
- Get a portable pet carrier (or metal cages). Pet supply stores sell out quickly. This item is important because many hotels and motels will accept you and your pet if you have a carrier or cage. Put some type of identification on your carrier with your pet's name included and if possible, a photo of your pet.
- Make sure your vaccinations are current and make copies of your records to take with you. Most boarding facilities require proof of vaccination, and if your pet does bite someone, having proof of rabies shots will be helpful.
- Get a properly fitted collar with up-to-date rabies and identification tags. This could be their round-trip ticket in the event they get lost.
- Compile a list of possible places to go in the event of an evacuation. Do not plan to leave your pet anywhere within the hurricane strike zone - even if a boarding facility is willing to take your animal. This is not necessarily safer than anywhere else in the city.
When a Hurricane Strike is Likely:
Start calling places to go with your pet(s). Make hotel or boarding facility reservations, outside hurricane strike zone, if needed. Get your pet supplies and carriers ready to go. Make final plans to leave the city.
When Evacuation is Strongly Recommended:
Load up your personal items, your pet supplies, your pets and go! If traveling by car, make sure your pets have good ventilation and water periodically taking bathroom breaks. Do not leave your four-legged friends in the danger zone. If it is not safe for you, it is not safe for your pet(s). Visit PetsWelcome.com
for pet friendly hotels.