Evacuation Plans for Pets When Severe Weather Strikes

While going into survival mode can make for interesting, compelling TV programming, it’s not necessarily a concept most people are comfortable with. However, there are increasing risks to our safety with regard to severe weather and natural disasters. When it comes to creating and maintaining an overarching approach to pet safety, acknowledging the potential dangers of severe weather is necessary. Because it’s better to have what your pet needs than the alternative, we offer some helpful tips for careful planning and preparation.

The Right Stuff

A basic kit should include the following items to support pet health, safety, and comfort:

  • Canned food and bottled water for a minimum or 5 days (don’t forget a can opener, if needed)
  • Back-up medications
  • Pet medical records in a waterproof folder (or a Ziploc bag)
  • Up-to-date photograph showing you and your pet together in case you have to proof ownership
  • Pet first-aid kit
  • Waste removal supplies
  • Extra leash, collar, tags, harness, and carrier
  • Toys
  • Flashlights
  • Batteries
  • Blankets and other comfort items
  • Pet clothing
  • A transistor radio so you can stay up to date with pet-friendly emergency shelters and disaster updates

Evacuation Plan for Pets

If you are forced to leave your home, your pet must vacate with you. Despite thinking that they might be safer at home, the only way to fully ensure their survival is to stay together. 

Most emergency shelters are not able to accommodate pets. We recommend compiling a list of pet-friendly lodgings within a day’s drive of your home. Call friends and family members in advance to ask if their home could be a safe place to wait out the storm or other emergency. 

Other Ways to Address Emergencies

If you aren’t home when an emergency hits, ask a friend or neighbor to come check on your pet. Have them block any access to the outside, like a cat or dog door. 

Owners should also check their pet’s tags are secured to the collar, and update microchip information if your name, phone number, or address has changed. 

If you have anything stored outside that could be potentially hazardous, including chemicals, please secure them safely in locked cabinets or sheds. 

Severe Weather Pet Safety

Other ways you can minimize the hazards to pet health and safety during storm season include:

  • Updating all vaccinations
  • Maintaining year-round parasite prevention 
  • Having a list ready of nearby animal hospitals (if you can’t reach us) or boarding facilities 

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the preservation of your pet’s overall safety and wellness during natural disasters or other emergencies, please don’t hesitate to call us at (615) 646‑7387. In fair weather and dangerous storms, our team is always here for your pet at Harpeth Hills Animal Hospital.