Pet Hurricane Preparedness: Hurricane Readiness Guide 2023
As we enter hurricane season, spanning June 1st to November 30th, and most active in August and September, it’s vital to ensure you and your pets are well-prepared. Do you have your hurricane supplies ready for you and your pets? It’s easy to start preparing today if you aren’t ready by purchasing items each time you go to the market or online. You don’t want to wait until you hear that a tropical storm is forming to do your prep. Get them out of the way now so you have one less variable to worry about.
Here are essential tips for pet hurricane preparedness:
Secure Your Pets’ Go Bags:
- Get your pets vaccinated, microchipped, and have their records on hand, in waterproof containers, or laminated.
- Prepare a three-week supply of food, water, and medicine for your pets. Rule of thumb for water: a dog should drink daily 1 ounce (1/8 of a cup) of fluids per pound of body weight. For example, a 10-pound dog should drink approximately 10 fluid ounces per day, while a 100-pound dog should drink roughly 100 fluid ounces in a day. However, there are other factors to consider, such as medications, age, illnesses, etc.
- Establish relationships with pet boarding facilities as a precaution.
- If evacuation becomes necessary and you can’t board, take your pets with you.
How to Ready Your Pets for a Hurricane:
- Ensure your pets’ vaccinations, ID tags, and microchips are up-to-date.
- Microchip your cats and other pets and verify their information on the microchip company’s database. You can look up your microchip registry here if you don’t remember.
- Properly fitting collars with ID, leashes, and containment during a storm are essential.
- Keep them leashed up during potty breaks when there is a lull in the storm
- Train your pets to use a crate/carrier and acclimate them to it.
If you’re sheltering in place, what’s good for you is good for your pet.
Ensure you bring them inside as soon as you hear of an impending storm. This is especially important for outdoor cats. Have the proper supplies for them to go potty indoors- litter boxes for kitties and potty pads for dogs. Some dogs are unused to using pads indoors. You can purchase a piece of sod and a plastic kiddie pool to encourage them to relieve themselves on it. You will want to keep skittish animals confined, especially cats who might disappear into a spot you can’t reach. Always keep your dogs leashed when going potty during a storm.
Pet-Friendly Hotels and Boarding Options:
It’s better to be prepared, so research now. If you know you can’t take your pets with you, reach out to boarding facilities to create a plan and a relationship with them now, before an emergency strikes.
- Find pet-friendly hotels on platforms like BringFido.com, Bring Fido’s hotline, and OfficialPetHotels.com.
- Contact local pet boarding facilities, like SoMi Pet Resort for dogs and A Country Cat House for cats, located outside flood-prone areas.
- If using your veterinarian for boarding, inquire about emergency plans and reservations asap.
Service Animals and Hurricanes:
- Service animals aiding individuals with disabilities are permitted in General Population Shelters and Red Cross Shelters, adhering to federal law.
According to FDA.gov, “pets that help people with disabilities are allowed in General Population Shelters and Red Cross Shelters as long as they meet the requirements for service animals under federal law (see ADA Requirements for Service Animals).”
Pet-Friendly Evacuation Centers (PFEC):
- Determine your hurricane evacuation zone using storm surge planning zones from MiamiDade.gov.
- Understand that pet owners must take their pets when evacuating; pet-friendly shelters, like the E. Darwin Fuchs shelter, are available.
- Visit sites like BringFido.com or contact Bring Fido’s hotline at 877-411-3436 for pet-friendly hotel options.
- Explore OfficialPetHotels.com, PetsWelcome.com, and PetFriendlyTravel.com for more choices.
Boarding Your Pets During Hurricanes:
- Establish relationships with local pet boarding facilities outside flood zones and equipped with backup generators.
- Consider boarding pets for a few days before a storm to help them acclimate.
- If your veterinarian provides boarding, inquire about emergency plans and make reservations now.
Admittance to Pet-Friendly Evacuation Centers:
- Pet owners in evacuation zones must provide residency proof, medical records, and supplies for themselves and their pets.
- The maximum allowed is four pets per household, and a family member must stay with the pets.
Essential Items for Pets During Hurricane Season:
Prepare a comprehensive pet emergency kit including:
- Crates or carriers suitable for your pets’ size.
- Pet Identification Forms with attached photos.
- Collars, leashes, ID tags, and microchips.
- Vaccination records and a three-week medication supply.
- Sedatives for easily frightened pets.
- Disposable litter boxes, scoops, extra cat litter.
- Cleaning supplies, food, water bowls, and a three-week water supply.
- Toys, blankets, towels, grooming items, and first aid supplies.
Communicating During a Hurricane:
- Invest in walkie-talkies, as heavy storms can disrupt phone lines.
- Reach out to Equipaws Pet Services for assistance; call, leave a message, or email. We will do our best to communicate with you as long as there is cell/tower service.
Essential Links for Hurricane Preparedness in Miami:
Stay informed and prepared with these resources:
- Download the Miami-Dade County 2023 Hurricane Readiness Guide.
- Check if you’re in an evacuation zone.
- Learn about mandatory evacuation orders.
- Establish a safe place in your home.
- Gather information from https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes.
- Stay updated with http://www.miamidade.gov/emergency/.
- Locate open evacuation centers.
- Report power outages to FPL.
- Download the Ready MDC app for iOS and Android.
In Miami-Dade and Broward counties, shelter availability varies based on evacuation zones. Check local hotlines or websites for detailed information.
Equipaws Pet Services during Hurricanes:
- Inform us about travel plans to avoid unnecessary visits.
- For pet-sitting clients, we prioritize your pets’ care and safety while also taking care of our employees.
Visits before and after the storm:
Daily Dog Walking Clients: Let us know if you’re going out of town to avoid the storm or if you will be home and do not need visits so we don’t send our employees out to your homes unnecessarily. If you do leave town, once you return, please reach out and let us know so we can resume our regular walking schedule once it is safe to do so. We will also reach out to you as soon as we are able to with any updates after the storm passes.
Pet-sitting clients: The safety of our team and your pets is our priority. We will contact clients who can’t return in private messages to continue organizing your pets’ care and safety.
Stay safe during any natural disaster with Equipaws Pet Services by your side. We’re here for you and your pets!
A founding member of the Equipaws family, Frankie can mostly be found working behind the scenes, helping co-create online branding, managing several social media accounts, designing brand collateral, writing copy, and managing events. She also fills in for pet sitters and dog walkers when needed in Palmetto Bay, Pinecrest, and South Miami. Her own small pack consists of Boots the Shih Tzu mix and Nutmeg the Chiweenie.