if an emergency strikes, you’ll be ready

Most of the time, giving the pet(s) you love the care they need is second-nature. You have a routine, they have a routine, and it works.

But during hurricane season – typically from mid-August through late October – pet owners can and should prepare for potentially scary, dangerous conditions. Really, no matter what season it is, and no matter where you live, preparing for the worst is a best bet: for hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, earthquakes, you name it.

We hope you and the pets you love will always be in safe, comfortable situations – but it’s good to be ready, just in case.

Simple, smart ways to prepare

Get your pet microchipped, and have the microchip information within easy reach. This is a must, whether we’re talking about disaster prep or not. Sometimes, pets get lost, even when you’re doing your absolute best to keep them safe. A chip can help bring your pet back home.

Have a carrier or crate available for each pet in the family, and get your pets familiar and comfortable ahead of time. Some crates even allow you to secure food and water dishes inside, which is super convenient. Plus, make sure to pack a leash or harness for every pet.

Be sure your pet’s vaccinations are current, and keep their vaccination records in hand. You should also have a list handy of any special medications or needs, and have ample medications on hand, because it might be hard to get refills during a disaster. In general, plan ahead as much as possible.

Prepare a small disaster kit for each of your pets — including 3-7 days' worth of food in a waterproof container, 3-7 days’ worth of water, 2 weeks’ medications, leash and/or harness, a pet first aid kit, a photo of you and your pet, and more. Ask your Banfield veterinary team for suggestions on what to pack, and keep your kit fresh each year – make sure the contents are safe and not expired.

Identify in advance a safe place to take your pet in the event you must evacuate your home. And keep a list of local hotels that accept pets, and local animal shelters in case you get separated.

And remember that in extreme weather conditions, your Banfield Pet Hospital might be closed temporarily, so check Banfield.com for updates. If you have an Optimum Wellness Plan® , you can access Vet Chat for 24/7 veterinary advice.

You can probably list all the great reasons you have a pet. One thing that might not be on your list – until now – is this: When you have a pet, they’re counting on you for love, a healthy diet, preventive petcare, and security – and that makes you a really important part of their lives. It’s a responsibility, for sure, but one we all cherish. Preparing for an emergency makes sense, it doesn’t take long, and it may give you some peace of mind.

Find additional information about disaster preparedness at the ASPCA®.

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