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Caring for Pets During Hurricane Sandy

As the storm approaches, know what you need to take care of your pets

The Federal Emergency Management Agency via its Ready.gov website has tips for pet owners to keep their pets safe in an emergency.

The full list of FEMA tips is available here. 

Some key tips include identifiying hotels and motels that are pet-friendly if you have to leave your home.

FEMA's tips to shelter your pet include:

  • If you have to leave but can't take your pet: "Confine your pet to a safe area inside - NEVER leave your pet chained outside! Leave them loose inside your home with food and plenty of water. Remove the toilet tank lid, raise the seat and brace the bathroom door open so they can drink. Place a notice outside in a visible area, advising what pets are in the house and where they are located. Provide a phone number where you or a contact can be reached as well as the name and number of your vet." 
  • "Most boarding kennels, veterinarians and animal shelters will need your pet's medical records to make sure all vaccinations are current. Include copies in your "pet survival" kit along with a photo of your pet."

Some items you should have on hand in addition to food and any medication needed are:

  • Newspapers (for sanitary purposes) 
  • FEMA suggests to "Feed the animals moist or canned food so they will need less water to drink."
  • "In an emergency, you may have to take your birds with you," says Ready.gov. "Talk with your veterinarian or local pet store about special food dispensers that regulate the amount of food a bird is given."
  • A first aid kit
  • Collar with ID, harness or leash
  • Crate or pet carrier

You can also print out the attached PDF above for your emergency kit. 

Rachel Scott October 28, 2012 at 09:44 PM
FEMA recommends feeding moist food so the pets won't need so much water to drink? What are they thinking? How long do they think moist food will last before going bad? Also, most dogs would eat more than they need, gorging themselves; dry food doesn't present as many problems. Pets need more water than most people realize. If you have a large laundry basket or cleaning buckets, rinse and clean them out thoroughly, and put them in strategic locations where your pet can reach them without tipping them over. Put out several, as some parts of the house could be blocked if the house has structural damage. Put down papers for elimination where it will cause the least damage. Put out dry bedding, on raised surfaces your dog or cat can reach, not on the floor, in case of flooding. Using your pet's kennel, with the door removed, again on a raised but sturdy surface that your pet can reach is one option, as it has a top, and if storm conditions cause leaking inside the house, the kennel is more likely to remain dry inside. Plan for the worst, and hope for the best.
Rachel Scott October 28, 2012 at 09:52 PM
Another note for future planning: I have my dogs microchipped; any veterinary office can read this code which is permanently embedded subcutaneously, so they can locate me as the owner, if one of my dogs is lost. Many pets were separated from their owners during Katrina. A friend of mine has a lovely shepherd dog rescued from Katrina. Whoever lost the dog, if they survived the storm, was probably heart-broken. Having a microchip placed is a simple procedure any vet should be able to do, at a reasonable cost, and unlike a collar and tags, cannot be lost.

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