Preparing For Pets Prior to Storm Season Provides Peace of Mind

Public Health & Safety

Riding out a hurricane with your furry friend can exacerbate an already stressful situation. Tragic stories of lost or abandoned pets during natural disasters happen once too often.

Crafting a plan of action ahead of hurricane season is essential to ensure the safety and well-being of your pet. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help prepare and alleviate unnecessary panic.

Getting Ready
June 1 marks the start of hurricane season here in Orange County. Now is the time to review your pet’s vaccination records and make sure they are up to date and visible on ID tags. Consider microchipping your four-legged friend in case you get separated in a storm’s aftermath. Take the time to research pet-friendly hotels, boarding facilities and nearby emergency vet facilities so you have backup options.

Stockpile Supplies
It’s also important to build a waterproof pet disaster kit with basic items like a two-week supply of food and water, plus medications, bowls, plastic bags, a first-aid kit, cat litter and a litterbox. Enclose a current pet photo along with the owner’s name, address and phone number.

Riding out the Storm
Just like humans, pets can feel anxious during a storm threat. Do your best to create a calm and comfortable indoor space for them during shelter-in-place. Some animals will stay near owners for reassurance, while others may retreat to a favorite hiding spot or safe space such as a crate. Interact with toys and playtime; and offer treats or chew sticks to relieve anxiety.

No Pet Left Behind
Label the disaster kit and make it accessible and portable for a quick exit. Don’t forget to bring a collar with identification, a sturdy leash, harness and a portable crate or carrier. Red Cross shelters are restricted from housing pets, except for service dogs. Never leave a pet behind during mandatory evacuation!

The Aftermath
Hurricanes and storms can be a traumatic experience for pets. Check with your vet if your pet exhibits any physical or behavioral problems following a storm.

Remember your pet depends solely on you for their safety and wellbeing. Planning ahead will give you peace of mind when disaster strikes.

For more information on preparing for a hurricane, visit

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