How to Include Pets in Your Hurricane Preparation Plan

Alison Streit Birken, DVM

By Alison Streit Birken, DVM
9/10/2018

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At the height of hurricane season, please remember that our pets rely on us to get them ready for the next big storm so it's important to include your dog and cat in your preparedness plan. Here are my best tips on how to prepare your pets for the next inevitable hurricane.

Make Sure Your Pet Is Prepared for a Hurricane

Have an evacuation plan:

  • We all create a plan in case of an evacuation, but it is important to make sure that pets are allowed wherever you are headed. Many motels, hotels and shelters do not allow for pets. Be prepared and make sure your evacuation plan includes your pets.
  • If your evacuation location does not allow for pets, choose designated caregivers that can care for your pets. Keep a list of friends, relatives, boarding facilities, animal shelters, or veterinarians who you know can care for your animals in an emergency. Be prepared with a list of phone numbers.
  • Many times in emergencies, we need to separate pets. Be prepared to designate more than one place for your pets to go.
  • Include your pets in evacuation drills so that they become accustom to traveling in their carriers comfortably.

Have emergency supplies and travel kits ready:

  • Have leashes, harnesses and/or carriers ready to transport pets safely and ensure that they cannot escape.
  • Make sure to have enough supply of food, drinking water, bowls, and cat litter. Don’t forget a can opener if you pet eats canned food.
  • Remember all medications and keep copies of medical records stored in a waterproof container.
  • Make a hurricane first aid kit which includes the following:
    • Identification (current color photo of your pet, ID tag including owners name, current address, contact phone number).
    • Keep medical records and information of any medical conditions, or behavior problems handy.
    • Keep information on feeding schedules, and the name and number of your veterinarian in case you have to foster or board your pets.
    • Always keep a list of veterinarians and 24-hour emergency animal hospitals that are close to your destination if you need to evacuate.
    • Make sure to include pet beds and toys, or something that provides your pet with comfort during what can be a difficult time.

Be prepared to Travel with Your Pets:

  • Make sure that your pet’s vaccinations are current and that they are wearing collars with up-to-date identification (many pet shelters require proof of current vaccinations).
  • Stock up on any medications your pet requires, along with a copy of their medical records.
  • Many pets get lost or displaced during natural disasters. Make sure your pet is microchipped and that their microchip is registered and current.
  • If your pet exhibits anxiety and stress during storms or travel, have your veterinarian prescribe a sedative if needed. Always consult with your veterinarian before giving your pet any medications.

Rescue Sticker Alert

  • The ASPCA recommends this sticker be displayed so that people know there are pets inside your home.
  • Make sure your sticker is visible and includes the number of and type of pets in your household.

With all the nervousness and busy preparations for hurricanes, please make sure to keep your pets in mind. They rely on us to ensure their safety and well-being. As always, your pets’ health and well-being are always my top priority. 

Originally published on Forever Freckled.


Hello everyone! My name is Alison Streit and I am Forever Freckled’s veterinarian. Being a veterinarian has been my dream job since I could barely speak. Over the past six years, I have dedicated my life to building, opening, and running an animal hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, accomplishing a life long goal of mine. It has been an amazing journey turning my passion for animals into a career. I know pets are our family and nothing brings me more joy than to help pets and their parents with wellness and healthy living. In addition to being a veterinarian, I am a wife to my amazing husband Rob, and a mommy to my greatest accomplishments and the most unbelievable joy for me, my children Luke, Leah and Hayden. Everyday I feel so lucky to have pursued my dreams to take care of animals, and become a wife and mother. I am so proud to have started Forever Freckled with my sisters and develop a platform to help people and pets on their life journeys.

About This Page

Pet Type:

Cat Dog

Topic:

Pet Safety Seasonal Tips

Date:

9/10/2018

Author:

Alison Streit Birken, DVM
Alison Streit Birken, DVM

Alison Streit Birkin is the veterinarian at Forever Freckled. Over the past six years, she's dedicated her life to building, opening and running an animal hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, accomplishing a life long goal. She knows pets are family and nothing brings her more joy than to help pets and their parents with wellness and healthy living.

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