Hurricane Preparation & Evacuation


Kennel: Keep in mind that most hurricane shelters will not allow you to bring your pets. If you must seek safety and higher ground with friends or relatives, we recommend you have an appropriately sized kennel to transport and house your pet. Many motels and hotels will allow an animal if it is kept in a kennel. Buy a kennel soon – when hurricanes head our way, many stores sell out quickly.

Food and Water: Bring a week’s supply of your pet’s regular food. It is important that your pet maintain their normal diet in a potentially stressful situation. Also make sure to have a jug of water for your pet. Whether you stay at home or leave, the water supply can easily become contaminated in a hurricane situation. Keep fresh water set aside for EVERYONE in your family, including your pets.

Shots: Make sure your pet’s shots are up-to-date. If possible, get a copy of your pet’s vaccination record TODAY. Keep this with the other important papers you will take with you in the case of an evacuation.

Pictures: You should have four views of your pet: head, left side, right side, and back. The photos should be stored in a safe deposit box or some place that would be safe and dry during a disaster. If you are evacuating – take these with you too.

ID Tags: Make sure your pet’s tag is easy to read and up-to-date. If you are evacuating and know where you are going – have a tag made with THAT information on it. Collars and tags are still a great way to identify your pet, but they can be lost or worn through. Consider a microchip, which provides a permanent form of identification with a unique number that cannot be altered. If your pet is lost, animal rescue personnel nationwide can “scan” your pet and easily contact you.

Collars and Leashes: Make sure you have a collar and leash for every pet, and a harness and leash for all cats. If you have to evacuate, you’ll need to be able to control each pet. If the storm hits and your fence gets knocked down, you’ll need to be able to walk your pets safely.


Water Change: As soon as you hear that a hurricane is headed your way do a minimum of a 25% water change. That way, if the water supply becomes contaminated the water quality of your tank has a better chance of remaining stable.

Battery Powered Air Pump: This will come in handy if there is an extended power outage. Make sure you have extra batteries on hand, too. If you do not have a battery powered air pump, circulate the water by hand every few hours. Use a pitcher to dip water out and pour it back into the tank. Be sure to disturb the water surface – make waves!

Preserve the Water Quality: Feed your fish sparingly. This will reduce fish waste and help preserve the quality of the water. It will help them to survive longer if you are unable to do water changes due to contaminated water supplies.

Power loss: If you have a clean water supply do a 25% water change every three or four days. If your filter is off due to a power loss you must clean it out before you re-start it again after the power is restored. (The detritus collected in the filter can turn toxic within 12 hours. If this gets into your tank it could kill your fish.)

Ponds: Ponds fare pretty well during a storm. Secure a mesh covering over the pond. This will help keep debris out and help prevent the fish from floating away in the event the pond overflows.


Clean Cage: If you find that you must evacuate and leave your pet behind, make sure the cage is clean before you leave your house. Better yet, purchase a small travel cage and take the pet with you.

Cover the Cage: This will help protect your pet from flying objects if a window breaks. Move all cages away from windows. Place the cage on a sturdy place as high as possible. For bird owners, prevent flight in the case of an escape by trimming your pet bird’s flight feathers.

Food and Water: Put extra food in the cages and plenty of clean water. It is a good idea to have an extra water bottle for small pets, an extra water bowl for reptiles, or a vacation waterer for your bird. (A vacation waterer is a gravity fed cup that holds lots of water.)

Supply Checklist:

Dogs & Cats:
Week’s supply of food
Jug of water
Vaccination record
Pictures: four views
ID tag
Collar or harness

Battery powered air pump
Extra batteries

Mesh cover

Small Animals, Birds, & Reptiles:
Travel cage
Extra food
Extra water bottle, bowl or vacation waterer

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