DEAR DAVI

BLOWN Away

Davi’s tips for hurricane preparedness for pets

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Dear Davi,

My humans think hurricanes are just big storms; meanwhile, I’m freaking out. Can you please post tips on preparing for the next storm?

Duncan the Dane
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Duncan,

Here in Florida, hurricanes can seem commonplace. It’s tempting to take them lightly. But it’s worth remembering they’re unpredictable forces of nature that command respect.

Hurricane season runs June 1-Nov. 30. This can be a frightening time for pets and humans. Having an emergency plan is key to survival. Your human should take measures to prepare now to dodge the devastating effects from these storms.

MAKE A PLAN
Don’t wait until the last minute to prepare for a hurricane. It’s important to plan ahead to avoid last-minute surprises and confusion when the storm hits.

If you have to evacuate, find a safe place ahead of time. If you plan to stay at a local shelter, find out which locations allow pets and know all the requirements—be aware shelters require up-to-date vaccinations and certain supplies for pets. If you plan to stay at a hotel, know which ones accept pets. Once a storm is approaching, hotels fill up quickly, so be sure to call ahead and make a reservation.

If you ride out the storm at home, be prepared for what could be a rough 12-24 hours. Identify a safe room to hunker down and store emergency supplies. Be sure all windows and doors are closed and stay tuned to local news reports.

ALWAYS WEAR YOUR ID
If you go missing during or after the storm, you’re more likely to be found if you’re wearing a collar with identification tags. Better yet, get microchipped. Have your human store your ID number and chip records in her phone and share with a friend or family member. That way, if her phone is lost, you can still be found.

Take pictures. Lots of pets look alike, so having a current photo showing your unique features will help eliminate mistaken identity.

CREATE A PET EMERGENCY KIT
It’s not much different from a human one. Pack enough food and water for five days and sturdy bowls to store and serve meals. Include lots of poop bags and a litter scoop to clean up waste. Keep medication and health records handy, stored in a waterproof pouch. A pet first-aid kit is needed, and toys to keep busy. Ready a comfy crate in case you need to evacuate.

AFTER THE STORM
While assessing damage with your human, stay leashed.  Unfamiliar scents stirred up by the storm may excite or alarm pets; animals are easily disoriented. Hazards, like downed powerlines and trees, are also dangers that could harm pets.

When Hurricane Matthew battered the southeast coast, my mom and I were ready to evacuate, but even with preparation, things can go wrong. Our plan hit a snag when we learned our hotel was overbooked; we were stranded. The manager was able to make arrangements with another nearby hotel, a pet-free hotel. They made an exception and we waited out the storm safely, thank goodness.

Rule of Paw: Expect the unexpected.
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Surviving Hurricane Matthew made Davi feel like a regular storm trooper.

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