Hurricane season is beginning and I’m curious to know what I should be doing to ensure the safety of my cat and dog in the event of a storm threatening Houston this year.
Hurricane prepared in The Heights
Dear Hurricane Prepared,
Hurricane season officially begins June 1 and goes through November 30. While there is lots of information available to humans on how to prepare for a potential storm, there’s less information available to pet owners who are concerned about how to care for their pets in the event of a storm.
BARC recently compiled a helpful information sheet for pet owners to aid them in preparing their pet in case of a hurricane emergency.
If you have friends and neighbors with pets who could benefit from this information, would you consider printing it out and helping them to prepare as well?
Building a Pet Emergency Kit:
• Before a disaster occurs, build a pet emergency supply kit that includes items your pets use on a regular basis, including food, water, medications and familiar toys. Also be sure to include a photo of you and your pet.
• All medical records, including a rabies certificate, pet license information and other important documents should be in a waterproof container or bag within the kit. Please ensure your pets are up-to-date on their vaccinations. Consider getting your pet the immunizations that boarding facilities require (typically bordetella) at their annual exam, in the event that you have to board them unexpectedly during storm season.
Developing a Plan for Pets:
• Whether the family plans to stay at home or evacuate, pets should never be left behind during an emergency. If it is not safe for people, it is not safe for pets.
• If an emergency requires evacuation, get your pet emergency supply kit and decide whether it is best for your pet to stay at a shelter. If you plan to take your pet with you, be sure the place where the family is going accepts pets.
• Please ensure your pet is microchipped. This increases your chances of being reunited with your pet should he or she get lost during a disaster. Visit BARC’s website to learn more about the importance of microchipping your pet.
• Set aside a specific time every year to update your pet’s city license, veterinary, and microchip information. This information is crucial to reuniting your pet with your family if he or she becomes lost.
• Visit www.HoustonOEM.net and sign up for Alert Houston, the City’s Emergency E-mail Notification System to stay updated on the latest emergency news in Houston.
• If your pet is lost during a disaster, begin the search for him or her immediately by visiting the “Lost or Found a Pet?” page on www.HoustonBARC.com.
Having a plan in place for your pets takes some of the strain off of you during hurricane season. Whether Houston gets threatened by a storm this year or not, you can rest easy, knowing that your pets are prepared for anything that heads your way.
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