pets severe weather evacuateSevere weather, such as a tornado, hurricane, blizzard, or another type of storm, can strike at any time of the year. When that happens, you may be forced to evacuate your home. If you have a pet, you will need a place to keep it safe. Many shelters do not accept pets for health reasons, so you will need to do some research to find a suitable location or make other arrangements for its care. Here are some tips to help you take care of your pet in the event of severe weather.

Prepare before the Storm Hits

• Make sure your pet has a collar and tag with your current address and phone number. If you need to evacuate, put the address and phone number of your evacuation site on the collar. You can also microchip your pet so your information will be available to a veterinarian.

• Take a current photo of your pet. This will help if it gets separated from you and you need to put up fliers or circulate a photo to locate it.

• Do research in advance to locate a shelter in your area that accepts pets. If you cannot find one, look for a motel or hotel that accepts pets. Do this before you need to evacuate so you won’t lose time.

What to Do during a Storm

• Have newspaper for sanitary purposes in case you cannot take your pet outside during the storm. Feed your pet canned or moist food so it will not drink as much water.

• Animals often hide and isolate themselves because they are afraid of severe weather. Keep your pet indoors and try to keep it calm.

• If you have dogs and cats, keep them separated. Even if they normally get along fine, fear and anxiety can make some animals act aggressively.

Preparing to Evacuate with Your Pet

• If you need to evacuate, prepare a kit with essential supplies you will need to care for your pet: food, a manual can opener if you give your pet canned food, bottled water, bowls, medication, veterinary records, cat litter and a litter box, and first aid supplies.

• Secure your pet in a carrier or with a leash so it cannot escape if it gets scared.

• If you have a bird and need to evacuate, you might have to take it with you. Make sure the bird is caged and the cage is covered with a thin cloth or sheet to keep the bird calm and provide filtered light.

• If you have to evacuate, never leave your pet behind. Pets will probably not be able to survive on their own.

After the Storm

• If you are unable to return home after the severe weather ends, you may need to board your pet at a kennel or at your veterinarian’s office or leave it with a friend or family member. Make sure you have copies of all of your pet’s veterinarian records.

• For a few days after the disaster, stay close to your pet when it goes outside. It may be disoriented if the environment looks different and could get lost.

• Sometimes animals’ behavior changes after an emergency because they are scared and confused. Pets that are normally calm can become aggressive. Keep your dog on a leash and in the yard so you can observe its behavior and demeanor.

How to Protect Your Home from Severe Weather

Following these tips can keep your pet safe, but unfortunately severe weather may cause damage to your home. You can protect your house and belongings with homeowners insurance. If you need a quote, contact Petruzelo Insurance today.