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Hurricanes are natural disasters. As a result, you would not have many options when it comes to preventing them from happening. For those with pets, they would not be sure how to take care of their pets during such a time. So, what do with pets during a hurricane?
Depending on the pet that you have, it is important to take the necessary safety precautions to keep your pets safe. Pets such as dogs, cats, and other small animals might be easier to handle. However, larger pets are likely to be a challenge for the owner.
Draft a Hurricane Safety Plan for Your Pets
The way you are prepared to handle a hurricane is crucial to your pets. From the moment you get notifications about a possible hurricane in your area, you will need to come up with a safety plan for the pets.
For your plan, you need to keep in mind the geography of your area. With a hurricane most homes will flood. So, determine which rooms would offer safe havens for your pets. Such rooms should be clear of common hazards such as flying debris, windows, and much more.
When choosing a room, it is best to keep it clean for your pets too. The most common areas would be utility rooms, basements, and bathrooms.
As much as it is a room with less windows to avoid injuries, you still have to consider the supply of water, air, and electricity. Your pets are likely to get thirsty before the hurricane passes.
So, what happens if the room floods? Well, it is a possibility whenever a hurricane occurs. Well, you might want to consider a room with counters or high shelves to help the small animals take shelter.
For those with horses as pets, they might have to come up with a plan tailor-made for horses. They will require more care and special rooms to house them during the hurricane.
If you keep small animals such as gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs, and mice, having a secure carrier to carry them around is important.
You know your pets better than anyone, so come up with a plan considering the pet you own.
Get an Emergency Kit for Pets
This is something you should have, especially for those who live in a hurricane prone environment. An emergency kit for your pets should contain the following.
Whenever there is a disaster, most people have a problem accessing clean fresh water. Each time you go to stock up supplies for cases of disaster, it is important that you pick up bottled water. Always get some for your pet.
When a hurricane disaster happens, mostly you are not sure when you will access food again. This is especially for pets. Just as you would stock enough water for a pet, do the same for food. Get enough food in cans so that your pet can have enough food to last it long until help arrives.
Pets are also likely to suffer from chronic conditions. Whenever you have such a pet, ensure that its emergency kit always has that type of medication. Talk to a veterinarian to understand what the pet needs in terms of medication. Always check the expiry date on the medication. The last thing you want is to give the pet expired medication.
Depending on the severity of the hurricane, you might have to evacuate your home. Taking your pet around without vaccination is likely to cause problems. Make sure you get the pet vaccinated as soon as possible. Still, get proof of vaccination so that you can present it whenever it is needed.
To help with easy identification of the pet, an ID tag would be ideal. The tag should have all the relevant information such as the contact, owner, and much more. Some fit their pets with microchips. The chips allow for ease of tracking the pet in case it is lost.
First Aid Kit
This should never miss in any of your emergency kit. It is during hurricane disasters that sometimes you end up with injured pets. Whenever this happens, you need to have all the necessary tools to deal with injuries. Even a basic first aid kit is important to patch up an injury until you get professional help from the vet.
Chances are your pet will end up being confined in a small space during a disaster. It is best to provide it with creature comforts. They include clean blankets, towels, pet bed, and extra litter. With just a few creature comforts, it should help it forget about all the disaster happening around it.
How to Keep the Pet Safe During Evacuation
Depending on the severity of the hurricane, it is possible you might have to evacuate. Whenever this is an option, you would be thinking about how to safely evacuate the pet too. There are cases where people end up with dead pets simply because they did not consider safety. Unfortunately, some even leave their pets behind. We should never leave a pet behind when there is a chance to evacuate it.
The first rule of evacuating your pet is that if the area is not safe for you, then it will not be safe for the pets. It is common for people to leave their pets behind thinking they would come back later and find them still alive. Pets that get left behind end up dead, lost, or severely injured. When making plans for evacuation, you should always consider your pet too.
The second rule of evacuating is that you should do it early. Some people tend to wait for a mandatory evacuation order before they can start moving out of their homes. At this point, it becomes hard to get away from the affected area with all your pets. Also, whenever you evacuate early, you will keep everyone safe and less stressed about the pets too.
If you have large pets such as horses, it is best to organize their transportation to a safer area early enough. Still, you might want to get yourself a carrier to keep your small pets from wandering around during the evacuation process.
The Pet’s Identification Should Be Up-to-Date
Pet IDs are crucial whether there is a disaster or not. The type of ID will vary from one pet to another. It comes down to what is efficient and convenient for your pet. Sometimes during disasters, a pet might get lost. However, if you have a pet ID, it should be easy to locate it. Here are some of the common methods for pet ID.
A collar tag
This should be the most common method that pet owners use when identifying their pets such as dogs and cats. The collar tag will have information such as the home address, the owner’s name, phone number, and much more. With all this information, it becomes easy to contact the owner.
People prefer to use collar tags as they are easy to acquire and inexpensive.
The use of microchips has been on the rise for years now. A microchip helps the local animal shelters and welfare agencies to scan a dog and retrieve the owner’s information. Once the owner is alerted, then he can pick up your pet. The best part is that you never have to worry about batteries, maintenance, or monitoring.
Yes, even pets can get tattoos for identification. They would normally be placed under the ear, inner thigh, or belly. The pet’s tattoo should be registered with a vet or specialist who applied it. This helps with ease of identification of the dog. Tattoos are obviously visible so that people know it is someone’s pet. Pet thieves would not want to steal a tattooed pet as they know it is easy to identify.
The use of GPS technology has been around for decades. It can now be used in tracking your dog or any other pet movements. The technology is loved for being precise and offering a real-time location. However, the GPS gadgets can be bulky and will require regular recharging of batteries to keep transmitting the location of the dog.
In places where GPS cannot work because there is no cellular service, then RFID technology can be a substitute. The technology uses telemetry to help locate the location of the pet. It might not be as accurate as GPS, but it will still give you an idea of where your pet is located.
What if the Pet is Injured?
During disasters, it is possible you might end up with an injured dog or cat. So, what can you do when this happens?
Call a vet
If you are safe away from the hurricane, the phone services will be working perfectly. Call a vet to get help whenever your pet is injured. By the time you get to a vet, it might take some time. So, getting a vet on call can help you perform some first aid procedures that can save your pet.
Approach your pet with care
At this point, your pet is injured so make sure that you can handle it with care. The animal is likely to be aggressive when you touch its injured area. Soothe it to help it calm down before attending to its injuries.
Muzzle the pet if necessary
Let us say is a dog, it would be best to muzzle it before handling its injuries. The muzzle helps to protect you from a possible injuries while trying to help it.
Always keep an updated first aid kit
We had mentioned it earlier that you should always keep a first aid kit around to help in nursing your pet in case it gets injured. It would be of no use when the first aid kit does not have all the necessary supplies. The worst is when the supplies are expired. It is best to continually update your first aid kit after a year or so.
Get the pet to the vet
Once you have done all the emergency procedures, it is now best to get a professional look at the injuries. Take the pet to the vet as soon as possible. Depending on the injury, it might take some time to fully dress it.
After the Hurricane Disaster
After the hurricane is over, you might want to take it easy as your problems are not yet over. You will still have to take some precautions for reintroducing your pets back to their home.
First, do not let the pets simply roam around without any leash or guidance. After a hurricane, sometimes familiar landmarks and smell might be washed away. Your pet is likely to be disoriented with all this new information. As such, pets can easily get lost when you let them loose with no familiar landmarks around.
While assessing the kind of damage your house has faced, keep the dogs on leash while cats in carriers. Whenever the house is damaged, it might make it easy for the pets to escape. Also, a damaged house might pose additional dangers to your pet.
When everything seems to be okay, what follows is to get the pets back to their normal routine. Because of the changes in the environment, some pets are likely to have behavioral problems. Be patient with the pets as you try to reintroduce them back into their previous lives.
If your home is flooded, it is best to seek refuge elsewhere before everything is sorted. Always follow guidance as given by the authorities on how to care for your pets in case flooding has happened in your area.
Pets are fun to own, but can be tough in cases of emergencies. We have looked at what to do with pets during a hurricane. You should not have to leave your pet when there is a chance to save it. Always evacuate as soon as possible to avoid the last-minute rush. This will help you get your pets to safer grounds early enough. Always take precautions when evacuating pets. It is important that they remain safe all the time.