​eEmergency Preparedness with Pets 

 

In the event of evacuation, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND. If it isn't safe for you, it isn't safe for your pets.  They may become trapped or escape and be exposed to numerous life-threatening hazards. 


NOT all Red Cross disaster shelters accept pets and local shelters setup up by the City and Country run out of room and separate pets from people, so it is imperative that you have determined where you will bring your pets ahead of time, and have had them microchipped so if the shelter separates you then you can reclaim them.


As soon as you start hearing about the potential impact of the storm make your pet boarding reservations in areas outside of the storm impact - don't wait till just before the impact date or everything will be full.


Better to reserve and move them, then nothing happens and pick them up early, then lose them forever if separated or left behind! Here are some resources and ideas:


  • Contact your veterinarian for a list of preferred boarding kennels and facilities. 
  • Ask your local animal shelter if they take reservations for emergency shelter or foster care for pets or if they can ensure they won't run out of room. 
  • Identify hotels or motels outside of your immediate area that accept pets. Try:
  •                www.bringfido.com/lodging/ or 
  •                www.expedia.com/g/rg/pet-friendly-hotels
  •                Marriott has 1,695 pet friendly hotels www.marriott.com/hotel-search/pet-friendly.hotels/
  •                ​IHG (Holiday Inn, &a dozen more: www.ihg.com/destinations/us/en/pet-friendly-hotelsbridge
  • Ask friends and relatives outside your area if they would be willing to take in your pet. ​
  • Prepare a "Go Kit" for your pet including a picture of you with your pet, a carrier, a leash and collar, toys, water, at least a week's worth of food, vet records and any medications
    your pet could need.


If you shelter in place as we did due to either large livestock you cannot move or ferals, here are some tips based on what we went through during Hurricane Harvey:


  • Have lots of coffee on hand - you will be up all night most nights ensuring the winds have not torn off the roofs or tarps, and things aren't starting to go under water.


  • Make sure you have high ground for you and the animals on your property​. Even with this we had water rising in those areas as the storm raged on over the 3 day period; we robbed our pond of it's pump, and used it to keep pumping water away from the door.


  • We move the feral shelter to the cement area of the yard, versus leave them on ground which would quickly saturate and cause the structure to start to sink and collapse. However that area by the second day had running water across it. We used leftover wood studs 2x4x8 to create diverters to force the water around the cement pad as it rose above it.


  • Have studding or fence boards you can use to place over tarps to hold them down in the wind - nailing into your structure through the tarp will only cause water leaks.

  • Have lots of zip ties - tarps with rivet holes can be zip tied to the structure

  • Have plastic storage bin lids or those garage floor or playscape interlocking pads you can raise up food and water bowls, and dogloos, litter pans, etc off the ground - the weight of the items above then will hold them down.

  • Make sure you are using heavy ceramic bowls - in the winds and running water plastic and stainless food bowls are too light and will take flight or slide

  • For the feral cats, make sure they have a dogloo with the curved entrance to help ensure the wind does not blow the rain into where they are sheltering

  • Also for the ferals, make sure their litter pan is one of the covered kind

  • Move their shelter up against the house or barn, under the eaves or porch if you have one, and brace with heavy stones.

  • Get pet supplies heavily stocked for at least a week's worth if not two, as the stores will run out of items. 

  • Ensure you have filled up your own food and gas tank supplies - people will go insane and hoard and fight each other for supplies as they did here.