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Storm Planning for Pets

frankieleon [Flickr]

Storms continue to form in the Atlantic region, so pet owners should be prepared to keep themselves and their best friends safe.  If that means evacuating to a safer area, it helps to have a plan so you and your furry buddy will have what you need to weather the storm together.


After Hurricane Sally hit the Gulf coast this week, we have had two new named storms – Teddy and Vicky. The one after those will be named Wilfred, and after that? Well, that’s the end of the list of names for 2020 storms; any additional storms will take names from the Greek alphabet – so we could have one named Alpha, then Beta – let’s just say it’s been an active year for storms.

So it seems like we still need to think about keeping pets safe in natural disasters. With tornadoes, there is not much advance warning. Even with hurricanes, it seems some people are still reluctant to evacuate and take their pets with them to safety. Regardless of the amount of notice you have, planning could make a difference when trying to keep yourself and your best friend safe.

First, make sure your pet always has some identification. You can hang a tag on its collar or harness with your name and phone number, but collars and harnesses can come off. Have your pet microchipped. It is a more permanent ID with a unique number which can be read by a special scanner and which is registered to you. Make sure your contact information is up-to-date in the registry.

Keep some supplies handy in case you and your pet have to “camp out” for a few days. You could use a large tote and include some pet food, treats, leash, harness, bowls. Keep your best friend current on all vaccinations, and put proof of vaccination in the tote. Some people-shelters allow pets, but you may need to provide that documentation. Put the tote with a carrier and a blanket which will be useful if you need to keep your animal confined.

Among the lessons learned from past storms and disasters is – don’t delay, or you risk not just your life but the life of your furry friend.

Planning for your pet’s safety now can help you and your furry companion stay healthy, stay safe, and stay together. After all, that’s what companionship is all about – riding out the storms of life together, when you’re speaking of pets.


Mindy Norton has been “Speaking of Pets” on Alabama Public Radio since 1995.
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