Plan for Your Pets’ Safety Now for Hurricane Season!

Hurricane season officially starts in June but we know that storm season has already begun affecting us nationwide.

Now is the time to not only make preparations for yourself, but it’s also the time to get a plan in place to ensure the safety of your pet(s).

YOUR Humane Society SPCA offers the following tips to protect your pets so they don’t have to fend for themselves.

Never leave any pets outside during any type of storm.

If you have to evacuate, do not leave your pets behind. They are helpless family members.

Small Animals Survival Kit Should Include:

· A secure carrier or collapsible cage for each cat or dog.
· Pet medication – a one-month supply is best.
· One week’s supply of food and water for each pet in a waterproof container.
· Non-breakable food/water bowls and manual can opener.
· Freeze-dried food can substitute for regular food and is lightweight and needs no refrigeration.
· Pet First Aid Kit – You can buy kits at most pet stores, big box stores or online. If you prefer to make your own, be sure it contains: gauze pads, adhesive tape, cotton balls/swabs, fresh 3% hydrogen peroxide, ice pack, disposable gloves, scissors, tweezers, antibiotic ointment, syringe or turkey baster, liquid dishwashing soap (for
bathing), towels, flashlight, styptic powder, saline eye solution.
· A spare collar and leash, and a form of ID; if microchipped (recommended) include current contact info to your microchip company.
· Your phone number, veterinarian name and address, and emergency clinic phone number.
· Carry photos of each pet on you, in case you need to prove ownership of your pet.
· Spare litter pan for your cat, cleaning wipes and trash bags for waste disposal.
· Comb/brush, and other grooming items, favorite toys, bedding and blankets to reduce stress.

Evacuation Plan for Pets:

· Don’t place multiple pets in one crate during a stressful time even if they normally get along. The only exception is a nursing mother with babies.
· Confine small pets such as birds, hamsters, etc., away from cats and dogs.
· Pre-determine a safe location and an evacuation route.
· Know your nearest pet-friendly shelters and hotels ahead of time. Openings will be announced via local media.
· Do not allow your pets to drink from puddles or eat unknown food.

Large Animals & Livestock When Riding Out the Storm:

· Be vigilant about checking fences regularly so if a storm hits, you are confident your animals are secure.
· It is recommended that you not lock animals inside a barn. The building could collapse. Be sure all power cords are disconnected.

· Have breakaway halters on horses and be sure to have some form of ID with the owner’s name or barn name, phone number and address. Bright colored wax sticks can be used to write the info on the livestock’s body. Velcro strips strapped either to horns or ankles with contact info can be used on goats, sheep and llamas, as well as horses.
· Fill troughs and spare containers with enough water for a week.
· Have a first aid kit in a waterproof container, with flashlights, fresh batteries, medications, and fly spray.
· Have enough hay and/or feed for a week, stored in waterproof containers, or high off the ground.

Evacuation of Larger Animals:
· Know ahead of time where the horse-friendly locations are and the safest routes to get there.
· Try to leave a hurricane zone at least two days before the storm hits. Horses or livestock in trailers during high winds and traffic jams is dangerous.
· Take adequate water in 5 gallon closed buckets and enough hay/feed for a week.
· Take current vaccination records and proof of Coggins for your horse(s).
· Be vigilant about having your horse trailer in good traveling condition and have a travel emergency kit, such as flashlights, batteries, spare tire and ramp, etc.
· Take a spare lead/halter for each horse, along with grooming supplies, medications, fly spray, wound dressings/bandages, antibiotic ointment, leg wraps, etc.

Waiting until disaster strikes is not the time to start planning. Preparing NOW can prevent tragedy.
If you’d like more information about YOUR Humane Society SPCA, or would like more detailed information about how to keep your pets or larger animals safe during times of disaster, please call 352-793-9117 or go to The Sumter County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) has many other helpful disaster
planning tips available at which will include additional plans for your pets and sheltering resources. As per the EOC, they “will open shelters throughout the impacted areas as storm strengths develop and they will all accommodate an area as & pet friendly.”