Warmer weather is here to stay for a while as Fall quickly approaches, and unfortunately with that comes hurricane season. From June through November, it is imperative to prepare for unexpected severe weather emergencies.
Be mindful that Cocoa Beach, Satellite Beach, and other beachside cities all the way inland to Merritt Island will likely be under mandatory evacuation during stronger named storms while mainland cities such as Rockledge, Melbourne, Titusville, Palm Bay, and Viera will be under an advisory. This is even at Category 3 and Category 4 hurricane advisory levels across Brevard County.
Take the time to create your pet disaster preparedness tool kit to feel confident in your emergency plan, limit stress in an emergency situation, and ensure you and your pet have the items you need to ensure your safety and well-being.
Your Pet Disaster Preparedness Tool Kit Checklist
A grab-and-go bag with pet care supplies is an easy solution to limit last-minute packing and avoid forgetting essential care supplies. We recommend the items below, but add any other items you feel are necessary for your specific pet care needs.
Food and Water
Pack pet food in watertight containers with portable pet bowls. Also, include plenty of clean drinking water. A 7-10 day supply is recommended.
Include a supply of your pet’s medicines, including flea and tick treatment and heartworm medications.
Collar and Leash
It is wise to pack an extra collar and leash in case of a rushed emergency situation when you may not have time to find a misplaced collar or leash. A harness can come in handy as well, and you can use the handle of the harness to buckle your pup in your vehicle using the seatbelt.
First Aid Kit
We suggest this pet-specific first aid kit for your home and hurricane emergency kit.
Include items that will provide comfort and mental stimulation for your pet to provide relief from a stressful situation. If you are sheltering with others, you may want to consider quieter toys (aka no squeakers!!).
Have appropriately sized carriers easily accessible in case of an emergency evacuation. If your pet is unfamiliar with using a crate, take time to train them to go in and out and show them a crate is a safe place. This will save you time trying to load your pet securely and limit the stress your pet may feel during an evacuation. Make sure your pet’s name and contact information are clearly labeled on the carrier.
Emergency Contacts & Resources
Create an emergency contact list to leave in your disaster preparedness tool kit. This should include the following contact information:
- Emergency Contact
- Vet & ER Animal Hospital
- Pet-Friendly Hotels
- Local Evacuation Routes & Shelters
Lastly, be sure that your pet is microchipped with up-to-date contact information. In case your pet escapes, this will provide a backup plan to make sure your fur baby will find its way back home. Keep a current, clear photo of your pet in a sealed plastic bag on hand in the event you need it for search efforts.
Hurricane Emergency Plan
In addition to creating your pet disaster preparedness tool kit, make sure you have your own emergency plan. Know your local zone for area-specific emergency information. Be sure to include county-specific emergency management information on your emergency contact sheet. If you have special needs, be aware that there are special needs shelters available, but these do not allow animals. Animals can be picked up and taken to a shelter for care but will need to have their pet emergency kit ready to go.
Keep Your Information Up-To-Date
Lastly, ALWAYS update local emergency contact information in your online client profile so if you are away and your pet sitter is unable to travel due to state and local restrictions they can contact your emergency contact to take over care of your pet. This is always a last resort, but a critical step to ensure your pet’s safety in an emergency situation.
Space Coast Pet Services management will be in close and regular contact with pet parents during severe weather events affecting the Space Coast. There may be times without power and electronic communication is not readily available. Outlining your family’s emergency pet care plan ahead of time will be essential to helping us execute it in the safest way possible. Together, let’s be calm at the height of the storm knowing your fur babies are healthy, and safe, and have a solid pet care plan.
If you choose to stay local, keep up-to-date with the latest storm information provided by emergency management officials. Stay off the road as much as possible and plan to hunker down until it is safe to go outside. For dogs, you can line a kiddie pool with plastic (I cut open a large garbage bag) and fill it with sod. This can make for an indoor potty station when you can’t go outside.
Keep all pets away from windows and close to you and if you MUST go outside, put your dog on a leash. Until you can confirm there is no safety risk such as a down fence, flooding, or sharp branches and shingles that can injure them, it’s best to keep them with you and avoid the risk of accidental escape or injury.
Stay safe, Brevard!
Melanie is the owner and founder of Brevard’s premier trusted in-home pet care company. With a Sociology & Criminal Justice degree from the University of Tennessee, she took her corporate security background and combined it with her lifelong passion for animals – that’s how Space Coast Pet Services was born in 2016! She is certified in Pet First Aid & CPR, insured, and proudly completed a full background check successfully. She is committed to ongoing training and education for herself and her team. To learn more, click here.
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