Hurricane Harvey is expected to make landfall tomorrow and expected to cause life-threatening and devastating flooding near the coast due to heavy rainfall and storm surge. Record flooding may occur and it is imperative that you and your pets are prepared. Click here for updates and storm level status reports on Harvey.
You should decide early whether to stay (shelter in place) or evacuate. If staying, you should stock up on provisions – including medications for family members and pets. If leaving, you should evacuate well out of the path of the storm and make sure that the shelter, hotel or person you plan to stay with will accept pets. As with family members, it is important to take a pet’s medications, special foods, toys and favorite bedding so that it will feel less stressed. Pets should always be wearing proper identification.
Here is a Pet Disaster Kit Checklist from the CDC for you to use. You can also visit www.avma.org/disaster for additional resources. Below are some tips for keeping you and your pets safe and preparing for an emergency.
- Bring pets indoors and confine them to a small, comfortable area
- Check your evacuation route and identify/ plan shelter/ accommodation arrangements in advance.
- Remove any objects around your home/pastures that may become airborne
If you evacuate:
- Take all your pets and ensure they are safely contained and wearing identification
- Take your emergency supplies with you (see checklist), including water
If you are not home:
- Pre-plan for a neighbor or friend to pick up your disaster supplies and your pets. Your pets should be familiar with them. Include any emergency contact information and your veterinarian’s contact information.
- Agree on a set place to meet when it is safe.
If you shelter in place:
- Keep pets indoors, preferably in carriers, away from windows.
- Make sure they are wearing current identification
Afterwards, and returning home:
- Keep pets safely confined
- Check all gates, fences and your home for damage. These damaged areas may allow pets to escape. Walk pets on a leash for the first few days afterwards to ensure their safety.