Today is Animal Disaster Preparedness Day. We all know that pets are part of the family. As we prepare for the upcoming hurricane season, one of the things we want to do is make sure that everybody’s prepared. And, that includes being prepared with your pets as well.
We’d like to have a plan, be informed and be ready, so we would like people to take the opportunity to make sure your pets are prepared, make sure you have everything that you need in case of emergency.
Be Prepared, you and your pets…
Humane Society of Broward County’s Pet Hurricane Hotline: 954.266.6871
Not sure if you live in an evacuation zone? Contact Broward County Emergency Management Division at 954.831.3900.
Now is the time to prepare for hurricane season! As a member of your family, your pet needs to be included in your hurricane plan. Your plan should include what you will need to have on hand for your pet in case of an emergency, and where your pet will go if you have to evacuate your home. By planning in advance, you will be calmer and better prepared when the storm approaches.
Supplies Needed for EACH Pet:
- 2 week supply of food and water
- 2 month supply of heartworm prevention and other medications
- Up-to-date photos of you with your pet. (For identification and proof of ownership.)
- Favorite toys for comfort
- Proper leash and collar with ID tags and license. Make sure the ID tag includes the phone number of a person in an unaffected area who will know how to reach you.
- Proof of current vaccines
- Newspapers and plastic bags for waste
- Portable carrier/crate
- Litter box and scoop with litter/newspaper
If You Can Stay Home
If your home is a safe place to be during a storm and you have not been ordered to evacuate, then you and your pet could probably stay home until the storm passes. Be aware that pets will sense the change in the weather and changes in the household routine. He may become nervous or anxious, characterized by excessive panting, whining, pacing and/or hiding. To help lessen the pet’s stress, try to keep his routine as normal as possible (feed him at the same time, in the same bowl, in the same place, etc.) It may be comforting if you make a special cozy area just for him in a quiet area away from any windows (such as a utility room or bathroom) with blanket, a few treats and a favorite toy. A radio playing soft music may also help.
If You Must Evacuate
If it is too dangerous for YOU to stay home during a hurricane, then it is too dangerous for your pet to stay there! If you live in an evacuation zone, ask a friend or relative that lives in a safe zone if you can come with your pets to ride out the storm. Ask in advance! A pet-friendly hotel in a safe zone is another option. Before a storm hits, make a list of several pet-friendly hotels and call to verify their policies. Keep the numbers on hand in case of an emergency. Once a storm is approaching, hotels fill up quickly so make a reservation as soon as you think you may have to evacuate. If you have a place to stay but your pet is not allowed there, you could take them to a boarding kennel. Ask your friends or neighbors for recommendations. Visit a few perspective boarding kennels and find out what their policies are for emergency situations. Or, ask your veterinarian if he or she offers pet boarding – many do. Most boarding facilities require proof that your pet is up-to-date on their vaccinations.
The only pet-friendly shelter in Broward County where people and pets are both allowed to stay is a partnership between the Humane Society of Broward County (HSBC) and the Broward Chapter of the American Red Cross, located at Millennium Middle School, 5803 N.W. 94th Avenue, Tamarac 33321. This is the only Red Cross shelter that allows pets.
Be prepared to provide the following:
- Proof of residence in an evacuation zone such as an electric bill and a photo ID
- Proof of current rabies vaccination and Broward County license for each pet
- A photo of each of your pets (they will not be returned to you)
- Your veterinarian’s contact info (optional)
- An emergency contact person’s contact info (optional)
While at the pet-friendly shelter:
- Pets will be crated and housed in the same area as other pets.
- Pet owners must stay at the emergency shelter. We will schedule an allotted time for you to care for your animals (i.e. walking, feeding, administering medications, and cleaning up after).
- Pet owners will not be allowed to sleep or stay where their animals are housed.
- It is suggested that owners supply the food that their pets are currently eating, to minimize digestive issues.
- If your pet may have separation and/or stress issues when crated, visit your vet NOW to determine if sedatives may be necessary for future crating.
After the Storm Passes
Take caution in letting your pet outside after a storm. Familiar landmarks and scents may be altered and your pet could become confused and lost. Be aware of broken glass, shingles with nails in them, downed powerlines etc.
Important Phone Numbers
Broward County Animal Care and Adoption – 954.359.1313
American Red Cross of Broward County- 954.797.3800
AT&T – 888.757.6500
Broward County – General Information – 954.831.4000
Broward County Sheriff’s Office (Non-Emergency) – 954.765.4321
FPL (Downed Power Lines & Outages) 800.468.8243
Waste Management – 954.974.7500
For More Information, Check out this Hurricane Preparedness Guide