Disasters happen every day all around the world, but cities in hurricane zones have a whole season dedicated to it—hurricane season. It seems this season grows longer every year, so what are you as a pet owner doing to be ready for it? There are several ways you and your pup can prepare for a hurricane, and it can also be useful in other disaster cases such as fires, earthquakes, or times you need to leave in a moment’s notice. Here are some examples of how you can have peace of mind in the face of a disaster.
Ps: Our pack hopes you love the products we recommend. Just so you know, BYOD may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. All prices are accurate and in stock as of time of publication.
Having an easy-to-grab folder, or “passport,” of your dog’s important papers can be very useful. You should keep copies of your dog’s vet information, health certificates, registration, spay/neuter records, vaccination records, microchip ID number, and any other essential paperwork you keep for your pet. Useful things to include can be contact information for you or someone you trust to make decisions for your dog, their meal schedule and foods, a list of medications your dog needs (if any), allergies, or anything you think a stranger might need to know about your dog.
This passport can have multiple purposes as well–such as taking it on trips you and your dog may have together, or when you need to leave your pup with someone for a long period of time. If you have time to prepare, this can be useful to bring with you during an evacuation or similar situation. You might want to consider leaving one in a disaster-safe vault if you have one.
Grab-and-go bag, emergency kit, bug-out bag—it doesn’t matter what you call these, they are not only an immense relief in a disaster, but also a comfort when you are worried about being prepared for one. Many people have a bag for their family and loved ones that is filled with the necessities one would need for approximately 72 hours of survival. These are designed to be easy to grab during evacuations when you only have a moment’s notice before you are required to leave. You should consider preparing one for your dog as well!
Not sure what you’d need in one? A basic grab bag for your pup should include a leash, food, water, a blanket, any medications your dog requires, and important paperwork (such as their dog passport). If you can, replace the food every few months or each year so your pup has food that is not expired or stale. Other things that could come in handy could be foldable water and food bowls, treats or toys to keep the dog occupied or attentive to you, or a muzzle if your dog is properly muzzle trained. You can even store these items in your own bag, but keep in mind the weight and ease of transportation—these need to be convenient and useable, not a burden that slows you.
You may have thought you were free of these when you left school, but you should reconsider! Having a plan in case of emergencies that you have practiced in the past can help immensely in a stressful situation like a hurricane. Fire drills, earthquake drills, tsunami drills, and hurricane drills prepare people for disasters in multiple ways. You do not need to practice for a specific emergency but consider how you would escape the building with your dogs if one were to occur. Where are your grab bags? What would you do if your front door was blocked? Do you know all the building’s exits?
Some people practice these drills with their dogs, teaching them how to remain calm and manageable in an odd or unfamiliar scenario. It is important to teach your dog that this is not a fun activity, but rather they should remain calm and obedient during the practice.
Pet Rescue Stickers
As pet owners, we do not want to consider the scenario where we cannot bring our pet during an evacuation or be there for them in an emergency, but these scenarios can and do happen. In an emergency case, pet rescue stickers left in windows can help emergency and rescue crews let them know you have a pet in need of help. Amazon sells stickers that have adhesive on both the front and back for easy installation in a window or on an apartment door. The ASPCA also offers these stickers along with a magnet with the Animal Poison Control Center hotline number in a packet in exchange for signing up for their newsletter.
It can be ruff as pet parents to think about pups in bad scenarios, but when you prepare for these emergencies, you have a higher chance of successfully navigating these obstacles and avoiding some stress. BYOD believes in responsible pet ownership—we want to help you develop a long and happy life with your dog! Plan ahead and stay safe, healthy, and happy with your pup!