Protecting Your Pets During a Natural Disaster: 8 Steps to Get Prepared

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Natural disasters, like hurricanes and tornadoes, can strike at any time that's why it's critical to be prepared. These 8 simple, yet important steps will help you in the event of an emergency or if you need to evacuate your home with your cat or dog.

  1. Tornado imageEnsure your pet can be identified by either a microchip or collar ID tag, with updated contact information.
  2. Prepare an emergency box of supplies that is readily available. Emergency kits should include:
    • Good, current photo ID of your cat or dog
    • First aid supplies & guide book
    • 3-day supply of cat or dog food in a waterproof container (be sure to replace food supply to assure it's fresh)
    • Bottled water
    • 2 bowls for pet food and water
    • Safety harness and/or leash
    • Waste clean-up supplies
    • Medications and medical records (vaccination records)
    • Contact list / information of veterinarian and pet care organizations
    • Contact information for you (name, phone, address)
  3. Keep your emergency kit in an area that is easy to access in an emergency, such as a closet by the front door.
  4. Display a pet rescue decal on your front door or window to let first responders know there is a cat or dog in the house. Include your veterinarian's contact information, as well as your own.
  5. If you need to evacuate, consider taking a pet carrier or crate for transporting your pet and keeping them safe.
  6. Carry a recent picture of your cat or dog with you in case you are separated.
  7. Learn where your pet likes to hide in your house because pets may hide if they are scared. Finding them quickly will help you evacuate faster.
  8. Identify a location that is pet friendly if you need to leave your immediate area. Keep in mind that disaster shelters for people ,may not be able to shelter cats or dogs. It's a good idea to research hotels/motels with pet friendly policies, or ask relatives or friends if you and/or your cat or dog can stay with them

We care about the stress disaster survivors feel when their pets are missing, or when they are struggling to care for them while food and shelter are scarce. To help alleviate some of that stress, Hill's has established a National Disaster Relief Network to help during emergencies. This Disaster Relief Network includes nearly 100 shelters across the U.S. to distribute pet food supplies to those who need it most.

While natural disasters can strike at any time, according to the Weather Channel, there are official times that they can occur:

Hurricane Tornado Wild Fires (ie California)
Hurricanes can form from early May to December in the Caribbean Sea or the Gulf of Mexico.

Atlantic hurricane official season is June 1st - November 30th.

Eastern North Pacific hurricane official season is May 15th - November 30th.
Tornadoes can occur at any time of the year and anywhere in the world

In the SE states, peak tornado season is February – April

Northern Plains peak season is June – August

South – late winter - early spring

Plains, Midwest & Ohio Valley – early spring - summer
While there is no official "Fire Season", it can be considered all year long, especially for California. however the key months are June - August

By implementing these simple steps, you will be prepared should you and your pets need to react to a disaster.