If you’re like most pet parents, the health and safety of your furry, scaly or feathered family members is a priority to you. Of course, the key to keeping your pets healthy and safe is being prepared… especially during hurricane season.
Living in Brevard, there is always a chance that at some time between the months of June and November your home may be under a mandatory evacuation order when a storm strikes. Do you know what you would do to keep your pets safe if you were ordered to leave? Don’t assume that in a hurricane, pets pet will be safe at home alone. If it isn’t safe for you, then it isn’t safe for them. In the event of a hurricane, pets need you to be prepared.
Here are some hurricane preparedness tips for people with pets:
Have a shelter plan in mind. Where will you and your pets go? There are only three pet-friendly evacuation shelters in Brevard County: Heritage High School, Port St. John Community Center and Viera Regional Park. They are only open to people in the mandatory evacuation areas and you must have current county tags and proof of vaccinations for each pet to be allowed in. Some hotels will allow pets, but it is important that you confirm the pet policy in advance as part of your preparation planning. You can also check with your veterinarian’s office and boarding facilities to see if they offer boarding services during mandatory evacuations (like Young’s Animal Hospital in Titusville offers for established clients). These services are not free, but they do provide peace of mind.
In addition to knowing where your pets will go in an emergency, you should also pack a pet survival kit along with your family’s disaster kit. Items like crates and carriers, food, bedding, toys and enough medication (if your pet’s on a prescription) to last at least two weeks should be included in this kit. Also be sure to have your pet’s medical and vaccination records on-hand along with identification and your contact information that will remain with your pet in case you are separated.
All it takes to keep your entire family safe and healthy during and after the storm is a little bit of planning. Your pets depend on you, so don’t let them down. For more information and to download a brochure with information on local hurricane preparedness resources, visit the SPCA of North Brevard.
Take care of your pets, Brevard!
This article contributed by Susan Naylor, media specialist for the SPCA of North Brevard in Titusville. A Brevard County native, Susan graduated from Titusville High School and Brevard Community College, and she is currently pursuing a degree in digital media at UCF. An avid animal lover with too many full-time and foster pets to count, she has a soft spot for older and difficult-to-train dogs. When Susan isn’t promoting the shelter’s Facebook page or designing ads for adoption promotions, she enjoys spending time with her own dogs at the park or at the beach.