With Hurricane Michael gaining strength and barreling toward the Florida Panhandle, now's the time to think about how you and your family prepare for hurricanes. You probably already know a lot about preparing for such emergencies, but have you really thought about how you'll care for your pet should things take a dangerous turn?
According to FEMA, here are some of the steps all homeowners should take if they live in areas often affected by severe hurricanes.
1. Plan ahead.
You know where your safe room in the house is, but where will your animals go if the weather is life-threatening? Horses, big dogs, and other creatures might need to seek safety at nearby animal shelters. Figure out where all of your pets will go and what needs to be done in order to get them there. If you're evacuating and you cannot bring the animal with you, make sure it's staying with a trusted organization or caregiver.
2. Think about your pet's emergency supplies.
You're stocked up on food and water for the family, but what about your pet's foods and medications? Keep those on hand in case you can't access a pet store any time soon. Also, you should make sure your pet has proper ID tags so that they can be identified should they get lost in the chaos of a bad hurricane.
3. Move animals indoors if possible.
The safest place for most pets is inside with you. Although your porch or barn might seem safe, it's a better idea to keep the animals in a place where you can monitor them as the weather worsens.
4. Never leave pets chained up outside when disaster looms.
Even if you must leave your animals outside for some reason, make sure they are free to move about and seek safety on their own. Leaving a pet tied up weakens their ability to protect themselves and may result in injury or even death.
To learn more about advice in regards to hurricanes and animals, please visit The Humane Society's website.