Before reading this entire blog, let me tell you a true story of a pet named “Rica” who survived a hurricane:
“Charles Trippy gained Internet fame by daily vlogging every single day for several years. He had continued to do this for so long, he even holds a Guinness World Record. When Florida was expected to be hit by Hurricane Irma in 2017, their town was ordered to evacuate. Charles and his family decided to take their chances by staying at home with their dogs and an electric generator. Since vlogging on YouTube is his job, Trippy recorded the experience of living in a town that was almost completely empty before, during, and after the storm.’
Just as Charles and his wife Allie were driving home from with supplies from the hardware store to officially hunker down for the night, they spotted a tiny 4-week old kitten standing in the middle of the street. They got out and took her into their car and refused to leave the baby behind. That night, the amount of damage and flooding caused by the storm was worse than they imagined, and they were lucky that their house survived. They knew that if they had not rescued the kitten, there is no doubt that it would have died. They decided to name her Rica, which is short for Hurricane.” —Shannon Q.
This is just one of the heartwarming stories of pets surviving natural disasters especially hurricanes. Not every hurricane that forms in the ocean hits land, however, when a hurricane does decide to hit land, the outcome is usually devastating. Hurricanes mostly hit coastal regions of the United States. They can cause extreme flooding, damage to homes, businesses, and landscapes. So how do you stop the panic and save your pets during these disastrous times?
Long before disaster strikes, your family should have an emergency plan in place. Here is what you can do with your pets before a hurricane:
Prepare Plenty of Food and Water
It is recommended to prepare between five to seven days of food and water for each one of your animals. Prepare several cans of wet food or a big bag of dry food for them. As we all know, flooding caused by a hurricane will make public water supplies at risk of contamination which can lead to several illnesses.
In my previous blogs, I have said that our dog’s body is made up of 2/3 water. As a general rule of thumb, it is necessary to give them 2 1/2 times more water than you feed them. Therefore, if you feed your dog 1 cup of food per day, you should give them at least 2 1/2 cups of water per day. So always remember to prepare PLENTY of water for YOU and YOUR PET. Additional reminder: don’t forget your bowls and can openers.
Ensure the Food Is Fresh
Always check the expiration date of your pet foods. Canned foods are usually good for at least six months while dry foods are good for three months. Don’t stuck canned or dry foods that you will keep and use them for emergencies, you can still replace them with every single new packs/cans you buy. In that way, the ones you keep get used and does not have a chance to go bad.
Don’t Forget Treats and Chews
When disastrous times strike, your dogs and cats are most likely to be stressed and feel anxiety and you don’t want to let them stuck in that bad feeling. What do you regularly feed your dog? What do you normally feed them on a daily basis? Are you feeding them a stress-relieving dog bone? Don’t forget to prepare them and include them in your emergency kit! Treats can be beneficial in calming your pet.
Prepare a Pet Preparedness Kit
In case of an evacuation or power outage, you should be ready with a pet emergency kit with everything your pet needs together with your family emergency kit. With the food and water mentioned above, include your pet’s medications, toys, bedding, first-aid kit and don’t forget the copies of your pet’s vaccination records and other medical records. Also, include information about your pet’s insurance policy, if you have one.
Have a Backup Plan
What if you run out of pet food? Remember: you can still substitute them with canned people food such as chicken, salmon and veggies. But people food can still upset your dogs or cat’s stomach so also remember to avoid that if possible.