The beginning of June has us getting ready for the summer, but living in Hawaii, there’s something else June brings…Hurricane Season!
Hurricane season officially kicked off June 1st and runs until November 30th.
Although as residents of Hawaii we haven’t had to experience any major hurricanes, there have been some pretty close calls the past few years though.
As we begin a new hurricane season, we should never have the mentality that “it’s never going to happen” because one thins is for sure, Mother Nature is incredibly unpredictable and when it comes to natural disasters, she DOES NOT mess around.
Along with the risk of hurricanes, tropical storms are another potential hazard during this seasonal time frame. Just like hurricanes, tropical storms can be just as dangerous and deadly to all of us, including our pets.
It’s important for all of us to have our emergency kits together and ready to go with all the necessary supplies, paperwork, and evacuation plans if you live in a designated evacuation zone, but do you have a kit and plan together for your dog?
I put together this in-depth guide to preparing your dog for hurricane season and be ready for any emergency.
If you know a storm is making its way and the threat of landfall is imminent, bring your dog or dogs indoors.
Secure your pups where it’s safe, dry, and out of the dangerous elements.
Leaving your pup outside brings the risk of he/she going missing because they are scared and puts their life in danger too.
News stations will broadcast ample warnings to give you time to get your butts in gear, so there’s ZERO excuse for you to wait until the last minute because you didn’t know. If you happen to have a pet that is not typically indoors, take the time and designate a room or area inside your home (bathroom, laundry room, kitchen) or garage where they can be safe and sheltered from the storm.
Prepare any space by making it as comfortable for them as possible with towels, blankets, soft beds to lay on, food, water, puppy pads to relieve themselves on.
If possible, consider an area where you can easily keep an eye on them and they can see you too for added comfort.
Do you live in an evacuation zone? If you do, do you know which shelters you can go to with your dog?
Check with your local American Red Cross for the listings of shelters and which shelters are designated as “pet friendly”. It’s best to know ahead of time where you can safely go with your pets, so you can stay together.
Also, verify if there are nay additional requirements needed from your designated shelters when bringing a pet or pets with you, as some shelters have additional rules or requirements for pets owners , such as proof of vaccinations, pets in crates, etc.
By taking the extra steps to familiarize yourself with the shelters rules and requirements, this proves what a kickass dog parent you are and affords you enough time to go out and buy any supplies for your pup you may not already have at home.
Natural disasters are not just scare for humans; your pup will be just as scared and anxious as you are.
Keep in mind that when you’re running around your home trying to get things together, maybe yelling at other members of your household, your dog are going to feed off those emotions and anxious energy, and they will start to react too.
Although you many know and understand what’s going on, your dogs do not.
If you find yourself in a predicament during the chaos a hurricane brings, whatever you do, DON’T ABANDON YOUR DOG!!!
Pet abandonment sadly happened during Hurricane Harvey in Florida and Texas in 2017, and it is sickening to learn about how many pets were left all alone, terrified as the storm rolled through, and died because of their so called “ohana” ditching them.
Thankfully many of these abandoned pets were saved by rescue workers who set out through neighborhoods, finding them, and getting these pups to safety and out of harm’s way.
Here’s a “fun fact”, pet owners that were found to have ditched their pets during Hurricane Harvey were not allowed to have their pets returned to them. The local authorities legally charged these pet owners with animal cruelty due to their negligence, putting these animals lives in extreme danger, and leaving them to die.
Sadly many of these pet parents never came looking for their pups upon returning home after the storm and some flat out said they didn’t want them anymore, and relinquished custody when they were contacted.
Put an emergency kit together for your dog with the recommended 14 days of supplies (water, food, medication, etc) in the event you can’t get to any stores or vet clinics.
Pet Evac Pak’s are a great “go bag” for pets that come pre packed with supplies for your pets. These bags are a great resource for pet parents who might be tight on time and allows you to add any extra necessities your dog might need without the stress of not having all the supplies you need for your pup.
Take updated pictures of your dog to include a clear picture of their face and their full body to help identify them should they become lost.
Make sure any and all identification tags on your dog’s collar or harness have your current contact information and can be easily read. Note that sometimes tags get scratched or ink rubs off and any text may no longer be able to be read.
Ensure that your pup is microchipped and that your contact information associated with that chip is up-to-date. As of July 1, 2020 the City and County of Honolulu implemented an ordinance that requires and mandates all pet dogs and cats over the age of four months be microchipped.
I hope this blog has inspired you to be a kickass responsible dog parent and prepare a plan and emergency kit for you and your dogs and be ready this hurricane season.
Pet Evac Pak: http://www.petevacpak.com