North Carolina’s Severe Weather Preparedness Week is March 6th – 12th this year. With the possibility of severe weather in the forecast today, we thought it would be a great time to talk about pets and severe weather preparedness.
Thunderstorms, hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, and winter weather are some of the many forms of severe weather we can see in our area. The amount of warning we can get when severe weather is a possibility can vary. Therefore, it’s never a bad time to make sure you and your family have a plan in place that includes your pets.
Here are some things to think about:
- Have a plan in place ahead of time.
- 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.
- Know what items your pet needs, and store them in a place you can access quickly. Possible information and items to include:
- Medical supplies / first aid kit
- Microchip identification number
- Vaccination records (especially showing the rabies vaccine is current!)
- Pertinent medical records
- Spare collar and leash
- Crates ready for transport and safe keeping
- Comfort items / blankets
- Pet food / food dish
- Water / water dish
- Litter / litter box
- If you are separated from your pet, having a picture of your pet can facilitate identification.
- Make sure your pet has a microchip and wears an identification tag – these can also help reunite lost pets with their owners.
- Remember, pets are likely to 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.
Want to learn more about being prepared for severe weather? Check out these great resources:
- National Weather Service Weather Safety Information
- American Red Cross Pet Safety Preparations
- Ready.gov Pet and Animal Emergency Planning
- FEMA Pet Emergency Preparations
Author: Dr. C. Noureddine, DVM, MS