Are Your Dogs Ready for Hurricane Season?

The Spring season is coming to an end, and it’s time to get ready for those hot Hawaii summer nights, but there’s something else we need to be getting prepared for Hurricane Season!

Hurricane Season officially begins June 1 and runs until November 30, which means it’s time that we make sure we have supplies at the ready and a plan in place. Although luckily, Hawaii hasn’t been hit with any significant Hurricanes recently, there have been some pretty close calls, though. We should never have the mentality that “it will never happen” because Mother Nature is super unpredictable, and she does not mess around.

Along with the possibility of Hurricane’s, we all need to keep in mind that Tropical Storms can form just as quickly during this season. These storms can be just as dangerous and even deadly to all of us, including our pets.

We should have our emergency kits together and ready to go with all necessary supplies and paperwork, as well as evacuation plans if you are in a designated area, but do you have a kit and a plan together for your pets? 

Each of your pets should have an emergency kit with supplies, identification paperwork, and an evacuation plan in place too. An emergency is not the time to wonder what you are going to do with your pets. 

When the storm is making its way, bring your pets inside. DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS OUTSIDE. Secure your pets inside where it is safe, dry, and they are out of the dangerous elements. By leaving them outside, you are risking them taking off because they are scared, and you are risking their lives too.

If your pet is not a typical indoors, designate a room for them inside your home for shelter and safety, such as a bathroom or laundry room. Make the room comfortable for them with a towel, blanket, or bed to lay on, food, water, and puppy pads for them to relieve themselves on. You can also pen or gate off an area in your home where you are so you can keep an eye on them, and they can see that you’re there too.

If you live in a designated evacuation area, be sure to check with the local American Red Cross and see which shelters are pet friendly. Knowing your designated shelters will allow you to know in advance where you can go with your pets in the event of an evacuation. See if your designated shelter has any additional requirements for pet owners bringing their pets, as some have rules like pets need to be in crates during their stay. By familiarizing yourself with any other conditions, you will have ample time to go and buy any additional supplies for your pets; you may not already have at home.

Hurricanes and Tropical Storms are not just scary times for humans; your pets will be just as scared and anxious as you are, especially with the sounds these natural disasters bring along. Remember that when you are racing around the house trying to get stuff together (maybe yelling at your other family members), your pets are going to feed off those emotions and anxious energy, and they will start to react too. You know and understand what’s going on, but they don’t!

If you’re in a predicament during all the chaos, whatever you do, please DON’T ABANDON YOUR PETS! Pet abandonment sadly happened during Hurricane Harvey in Florida and Texas, and it was horrible how many pets were left alone, terrified as the storm rolled through, and died because of their so-called “ohana.” Thankfully and by the grace of whatever you may believe in, many were saved by rescue workers going out and getting these pets to safety and out of harm’s way.

Something interesting I found out, “families” that ditched their pets, were not allowed to have their pets returned to them by authorities. The local authorities believed that due to their negligence, and putting their lives in extreme danger and leaving their pets to die. Pet owners were then legally charged with animal cruelty for abandoning them.

Sadly many owners never came looking for their pets after returning home, or they just flat out said they didn’t want them anymore and relinquished custody when they contacted. Various rescue organizations from all over the mainland stepped in to help, and these animals were then placed for adoption (some even flown out to fosters, shelters, or organizations in other states), able to find new loving homes and live happily ever after. 

Here are a few key things I recommend to pet owners to keep in mind when prepping their pets.

MAKE SURE:

  • Your pet or pets have an emergency kit with the recommended amount of supplies (food, water, medication, etc.) for at least 14 days.
  • To take updated pictures of your pet or pets to include a clear picture of their face and full body to help identify them should they become lost.
  • Pets are wearing a collar with identification tags with your current contact information on them.
  • Pets are microchipped, and the information on the microchipped is up-to-date. Current contact information is essential as if they are lost running around; their collars could fall off, or worse, someone could take them off.
  • If you live in a designated evacuation zone, to identify and find the nearest pet-friendly shelter you can go to with your pets.

So when making your plans and putting your supplies and kits together, be sure to take the time to prepare your pets and be ready this hurricane season. 

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For more information, check out the Hawaiian Humane Society for details on getting your pets disaster ready.

Hawaiian Humane Society Disaster Readiness: https://www.hawaiianhumane.org/disaster-readiness/

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