Weathering Hurricane Season in Charleston
Being so close to the ocean means ocean-fueled storms are imminent, and none are more threatening than hurricanes. As hurricane season approaches, it’s important to have a hurricane pet safety plan—and stick to it. Whether you decide to weather the storm, leave the area, or are ordered to evacuate, making your pet a part of your plans could help save their life. See our veterinarian-recommended tips below to get started!
Tips for Hurricane Pet Safety
The severity of hurricanes varies greatly but no matter how much the weather channels predict the level of damage it will cause, there’s no way to know until it hits. Being prepared is the best way to keep your family and furry friends safe during a raging storm.
Below are hurricane pet safety tips to help you plan for the worst:
- Keep a record of your pet’s vaccinations. This includes having them on your phone (if you have a Pet Portal) and having printed copies. If you need to take your pet to a shelter or boarding facility, they’ll likely require your pet’s recent paperwork.
- Have current photos of your pet on hand in case they do get lost.
- Make sure they are wearing a collar that has all their current identification information. You should also have your pet microchipped so that if they do run off, any shelter or animal hospital that receives them will be able to scan their chip and trace them back to you. Make sure that if your pet is microchipped, that their chip number is registered with your current contact information (including address).
- Put together an emergency supply kit with the following items: pet carrier or crate, ID, immunization records, medication, supply of food and water, collar or muzzle, a leash, puppy pads, plastic bags, or a litter box for your cat.
- If you decide to weather the storm, bring your pets inside well before the storm hits and keep them calm by not panicking yourself. Use a calm voice and gentle actions to handle them.
- If you’re staying home with your pet, make sure to stock up on bottled water and food for both yourself and your pet. You never know when you might need it!
- During the storm, keep your pet in a crate, container or on a leash. You never know how they may react, or if you’ll have to evacuate in the midst of it.
- In the case of an evacuation, once you return, your surroundings are likely to have changed. This new environment may confuse your pet, so keep them on a leash until they become re-oriented with their surroundings.
For further information about pet safety during hurricane season, please see the resources below:
- Ready, Department of Homeland Security
- Pet MD
- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)
- South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC)
And as always, don’t hesitate to call our animal hospital with any questions or concerns!