Hurricane Preparedness — Disaster Plan for Pets

The safety of our furry friends is a primary concern for many pet owners during a disaster. With hurricane season officially upon us, now is the time to revisit your disaster plan and ensure that you and your beloved pets are prepared.

Plan Ahead

Find a pet friendly hotel. Keep a list of at least three outside your immediate area.
Prepare an emergency kit for your pets. This should include your vet information, your contact information, gauze wrap, nonstick bandages, hydrogen peroxide, and adhesive tape.
Make sure your pets have an ID tag that is fastened to their collar. If your pet is not microchipped, consider doing so as a safety precaution.
Identify someone who can help. Determine a family member, friend or neighbor who lives nearby and would be willing to take your pets in the event you cannot make it home.

Create a Grab & Go Bag

  • Food, water and any medications to last five days
  • Vaccination record
  • Leash/collar, city licenses, ID and rabies tags
  • Sturdy and properly sized pet carriers for each pet
  • Pet beds, toys and treats
  • Plastic bags for disposal, litter box and litter
  • Non-spill food and water bowls
  • Current photos of you and your pets and descriptions of your pets to help others identify them in case you and your pets become separated — and to prove they are yours once you are reunited.

Stay Informed

Know what disasters could affect your area, which could call for an evacuation and when to shelter in place.
If sheltering in place, know what to do. Make sure you know which rooms are safe, be aware of your pet’s hiding spaces, and close off any small spaces where pets could get stuck.
Download a weather app. Sign up to get weather alerts from the National Weather Service to make sure you are updated as soon as news is available.

What To Do After a Disaster

Observe the environment. Check the area in and around your home to make sure you’re aware of any potential hazards that could harm your pets.
Monitor your pet. Contact your veterinarian immediately if your pets have any prolonged signs of stress, injuries or signs of illness.
Give your pets time. Disasters like hurricanes can be extremely stressful for your pets. Allow them uninterrupted times of rest so they can recover from the trauma. Re-establish a normal routine as quickly as possible, but understand that your pets may need time.
Comfort each other! One of the most beneficial ways to relieve stress is to spend time with your animal friends.

The Virginia Beach SPCA has pet emergency decals available for pet owners. Pick one up and place it on your door or window to alert first responders and rescue teams that there are pets inside the home. Stop by and pick yours up today.