Hurricane Preparedness for Pets


Hurricane season has already proven to be a devastating one for 2017. Lawndale Veterinary Hospital is currently collecting financial donations for Austin Pets Alive!, a group that is facilitating Hurricane Harvey relief efforts for pets in Texas. Donations can be dropped off at our clinic any time during clinic open hours.

With Hurricane Irma prompting Governor Cooper to place North Carolina in a State of Emergency, Lawndale Veterinary Hospital has pulled together resources to help you prepare for your pet’s health and safety should problems arise. It’s never a bad idea to have an emergency plan in place that includes your pets for any type of disaster or emergency situation.

Disaster Preparedness Checklist for Pets:

  • Have a plan in place ahead of time.
  • Make sure your pet has a microchip and wears an identification tag. These can be vital in reuniting lost pets with their owners.
  • Keep your pet’s vaccinations up-to-date. If your pet is evacuated and housed in an area with other pets, they will be at risk for contagious diseases (which spread quickly in crowded situations).
  • Download these helpful Apps:
  • Never leave pets behind if you have to leave your home. Find a shelter that accepts pets too, or find a friend or family member willing to help care for them temporarily. Some hotels will accept pets – have a list prepared ahead of time to know which ones to call. You can visit the website for a list of pet-friendly hotels.
  • Remember, pets can become scared in situations such as severe weather. They may be more likely to hide or run away. Keeping them secured with leashes or in crates will help keep them safe.
  • Scared or injured pets may be more likely to bite. Use additional caution, and have a muzzle on hand.
  • Know what items your pet needs, and store them in a place you can access quickly. The American Veterinary Medical Association has created a Pet Evacuation Kit Checklist to help you prepare. Here is a summary of that list along with some additional pointers:
    • Food and Medicine:
      • 3 to 7 days’ worth of dry and canned (pop-top) food*
      • Two-week supply of medicine*
      • At least 7 days’ supply of water
      • Feeding dish and water bowl
      • Liquid dish soap
      • Any other items relevant to your pet’s individual needs (e.g. Karo syrup for diabetics in case there is a hypoglycemic crisis, etc.)
  • *These items must be rotated and replaced to ensure they don’t expire
    • First Aid Kit:
      • Antibiotic ointment
      • Bandage tape and scissors
      • Cotton bandage rolls
      • Absorbent gauze
      • Ice pack
      • Flea and tick prevention
      • Heartworm /intestinal parasite prevention
      • Isopropyl alcohol/ alcohol prep pads
      • Disposable gloves
      • Saline eye flush
      • Towel and washcloth
      • Tweezers / magnifying glass
    • Sanitation:
      • Litter, litter pan, and scoop (shirt box with plastic bag works well for pan)
      • Newspaper, paper towels and trash bags
      • Household chlorine bleach or disinfectant
    • Important Documents:
      • Identification papers including proof of ownership (and microchip number)
      • Medical records and medication instructions (including vaccine records)
      • Emergency contact list, including veterinarian and pharmacy. If Lawndale Veterinary Hospital is not open, you can contact one of the area emergency clinics:
      • If you are traveling out of town, the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society has a search function available to help you locate an emergency facility.
      • Photo of your pet (preferably with you)
    • Travel Supplies:
      • Crate or pet carrier labeled with your contact information
      • Extra collar/harness with ID tags and leash
      • Flashlight, extra batteries
      • Muzzle
    • Comfort Items:
      • Favorite toys and treats
      • Extra blanket or familiar bedding

Additional Resources:

Author: Dr. C. Noureddine, DVM, MS, MS