Are You Storm Ready? There’s a Place in Your Emergency Plan for Pets

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Atlantic County Pet Disaster Relief trailer.

By NANETTE LoBIONDO GALLOWAY

With Hurricane Laura making her way through the Gulf of Mexico, the remnants of the storm will likely impact the South Jersey region by the weekend. You may have already developed your hurricane preparation plans, but do they include provisions for your pets?

You may have already prepared your “Go Bag” to include information and supplies you will need in an emergency, including all your family contact information and a supply of your prescription medications. But being prepared to house your pets on the road in the event of evacuation is just as important.

Your pet go kit should include proof of vaccinations, copies of their municipal license, ownership identification, and photos of your pets from all angles.

An appropriately sized pet carrier will make it safer to transport cats and dogs in your vehicle. Don’t forget their leashes and tags, water and food bowls, a three-day supply of pet foods and water, and any medications they may be taking.

Cats will need a litter box and litter. There are inexpensive self-contained litter boxes available in the supermarket pet aisle.

It’s a good idea to have some old newspapers, paper towels, handi-wipes, can openers and Fido’s favorite blanket.

It’s important to take precautions with your pets after the storm as well, to protect them from sharp objects, downed electric lines, fallen trees and debris, or contaminated water. It’s best to keep them on leash anytime you venture outdoors after a storm.

Your pet could become disoriented as to their surroundings as flooding and heavy rain could wash away familiar scents. Pets may become irritable when their routines are interrupted.

If your pet becomes lost during a severe weather event, contact local police, veterinarians, pet shelters and humane societies to see if they have been found. Hopefully, your pet has been microchipped and you will be contacted, but if not, it’s important to have your paperwork ready to prove you are Fido or Puff’s pet parent.

Some emergency shelters do not accept pets. Be aware in advance of any restrictions. Check here for pet friendly hotels. It’s best to find out in advance if local animal shelters will be providing refuge for pets in a disaster. Some may be overburdened and should be your last resort for pet care.

Here are some local contacts:

Humane Society of Atlantic County

1401 Absecon Blvd, Atlantic City, N.J. 08401

609-347-2487

http://humanesocietyac.org/

Humane Society of Ocean City

1 Shelter Rd, Ocean City, N.J.

609-398-9500

http://hsocnj.org/

Atlantic County Animal Shelter

240 Old Turnpike Road

Pleasantville, N.J. 08232

609-485-2345

aclink.org