Hurricane Prep: Your Pet Project
It’s Hurricane Season
June 1 - November 30
For those of us living in the Gulf South, Hurricane season just comes with the territory. And even though we've had a few (thankfully!) quiet years here in the New Orleans area, it’s important to get and stay prepared for anything, both for our human families and for our pets.
To start, make sure you have at the ready pet carriers and crates that are in working order, and write or label your name, address, phone number and alternate contact information on each one. Have on hand at least one month's worth of any and all medications and food in an airtight, waterproof container. Additionally, be sure to have all collars, harnesses and leashes. Some things that might be overlooked but that are good to have ready to go: potable water, kitty litter, a small litter box, paper towels, newspaper, pup poop bags and plastic trash bags. As cleanliness and sanitation can be challenging during power outages and evacuations, thinking ahead can set you up for less stress during any storm-related emergencies.
It's also important to make sure you have a copy of each pet's rabies tag and license and ask your vet to email you a copy of their medical records. (Most boarding facilities and veterinarian offices require proof of immunization before accepting pets.) To be double safe, print out the records and put them in a water-resistant binder. If you have an idea of where you might go in an evacuation, research veterinary and boarding options in that area and call ahead to find out about their policies, hours and availability. If you prefer to keep your pet with you, it's always good to make sure the friends or family you’ll be staying with are ok with pet guests, especially since you might not be aware of allergies of others who will be staying there. Researching pet-friendly motels and hotels in advance is also a good idea, as an alternative or backup plan.
A last (but very important) note: Don’t wait until the last minute. Things get very hectic during a storm. The worst time to try to get your emergency pet care in order is when there’s something already brewing in the Gulf. The best time is NOW.
If you have any questions about your pet’s vaccinations or records, please do not hesitate to give us a call. We’re here to help! 504.897.4973
—Jessica Miller DVM
HURRICANE SEASON PET CHECKLIST
Up-to-date medical records, rabies tags and pet ID tags
Pet carriers, collars, harnesses and leashes
One-Month supply of all medications (in an air-tight container)
Food and water for your pets
Kitty litter, small litter box, paper towels, plastic garbage bags
Contact info for vet and boarding facilities in the cities you may travel to during an evacuation