With hurricane season already upon us, we have to make some reasonable decisions now, not when a potential disaster is hours away. We all remember Katrina, Andrew, and Hugo. Have we learned anything from others who have made bad choices?
We have learned that tropical storms can be as dangerous as a Category 5 hurricane. We have learned that we need to have a plan for evacuations and that includes a plan for our animals.
Our pets are as helpless as Grandma and the kids. When we took them into our homes, we made a commitment to them. We promised to love and care for them forever. This means that we will not leave them behind.
Let’s discuss what we need to have ready for our pets during hurricane season. Allow me to share my plan with you. I fortunately have not had to use my plan for the past five years but it has been ready each year in case of evacuation. I live with my two amazing dogs, a toy shihtzu named Muffin and her pet, a black lab she named Cupcake. In our home we have “Go Bags”. We use this term because if we have to get up and “go”, we can grab our “Go Bag” and leave. You mothers will remember this term, we all had a “Go Bag” ready when the time came near for us to give birth.
This is what I have packed in their “Go Bag”:
- Plastic lid container with enough food for one week per pet
- Bowls for food and water
- One dose of Heartworm preventative and flea preventative per pet
- Bedding including a large towel and washcloth for each pet
- A Plastic bottle of Hydrogen Peroxide and cotton swabs, gauze and tape , cotton balls and liquid soap (for tick removal)
- Collapsible soft- sided water bowl and bottled water
- One favorite toy, chewable bone and leash per pet
- A zipper enclosure plastic bag containing photocopies of my identification, their medical information, veterinarian information, contact numbers and a photo of each pet with their micro-chip information
Depending upon the route of the impending storm, I have three different routes planned to get out of the way of danger. I learned a long time ago that at the first indication of a category 3 or higher storm, we evacuate automatically. We are fortunate to have a hurricane safe home but I am not the brave sort. By evacuating I know that we will all be safe and if the storm hits and didn’t cause any damage at least we all got a mini-vacation out of the deal.
Please do not leave your pets behind, they cannot take care of themselves. You signed on to take care of them, do not disappoint them. Pack your “Go Bags” now for humans and pets and pray that you will not have to use them.