How to keep your pet safe during Hurricane Irma

By | September 9, 2017

Everyone wants to know where Hurricane Irma is going to go?

Is it headed to Myrtle Beach, Charlotte, Charleston, Savannah, Alabama?

Only the eye of the storm knows the path it will take.

Just the thought of hurricane Irma is scary. Thinking that something could happen to your precious pets is unthinkable. All we can do is be prepared for the worst and hope for the best!  


Here are some tips to keep your Pet Safe during a storm


Let’s start with documents for your pet family. You definitely want to be sure that you have copies of your pet’s shot record and health history. If you do not have copies or are having trouble finding them, your veterinarian can probably get you a copy. If your pet has a microchip, you want to get them scanned to be sure it is active. Then you can contact the company that you are registered with to be sure all of your information is correct. Sometimes those little chips move around, then you can take note on where the chip is located on your pet. I heard of a dog’s chip that was found on their back side, quite a distance from the original injection site. Another thing that you want to have, is a current picture, with their names in big letters. I even have a cover sheet highlighting the most important things that if needed quickly they are right on top.


A tip that was given to me, is to put all of the important papers, valuables in the dishwasher. It is waterproof and the appliance is surrounded by cabinets, pretty secure. I advise to put in a zip lock bag for that extra protection.


You want to be sure that your pets are tagged with your identification. I am going to also suggest one step further, to include your address as well as your phone numbers.  Be sure that all of your pets have the tags on their collars and they are wearing them. Check to be sure they are on properly. Johnny’s collar can slip off him some times, which would totally defeat the purpose.  For small pets: birds, gerbils, hamsters, rats, bunnies, lizards, etc. place a waterproof tag on their cages. There are collars that you can purchase if you do not already have for your smaller pets, even birds!


Now we have your pet tagged let us talk about what your pets will need during this time.


  • Dry or wet food to last at least two weeks, be sure wet food is a pull top.
  • Manual can opener just in case you need it
  • Two weeks supply of water for each pet, about3-4 gallons of water
  • Water and Food bowl per pet
  • Toys
  • Either newspaper or puppy pads. You are not going to be able to take your dog out to potty during a storm, or even afterward with all the hazards
  • Extra litter to last two weeks
  • Plastic bags
  • Cages or crates for each pet
  • Medications, including any first aid supplies
  • Towels, blankets
  • Flashlights
  • Soap and cleaning supplies
  • Sedative/tranquilizers


If you are in an Evacuation Zone and must evacuate. There are some pet-friendly hotels/motels that you can take your pets too. Some sites that can help you locate one near the area you are going:


I have also been hearing and seeing all over Facebook and other social media that it is mandated by federal law that all hotels, motels, and shelters to allow your pet during a state of emergency under the PETS act. I have looked into this and it is NOT true. There is a federal legislation that local governments to think about how to accommodate animals. The PETS Act authorizes FEMA to provide rescue, care, shelter and essential needs for individuals with household pets and service animals. There is no mandate to shelter them.  If you must evacuate never leave your pet behind. 


If you are hunkering down during Hurricane Irma or any storm. It is advised to stay in an interior room with no windows. Take your pet(s) in the room with you. It is ideal to have them secured, either in crates/cages or harnessed and leashed.


If you have a wind-up radio to have noise that can mask the sounds of the storm, this helps many pets.  I have also put a blanket over crates to kind of muffled noises trying to make it as calming for them as possible. If you have some time to prepare for a storm you can give a sedative/tranquilizer. I have used, Benadryl, or Dramamine for my pups. Ask your vet about proper dosing any pets.


As scary as going through a storm, or a natural disaster can be the most important thing is to keep calm. Our pets are looking to us on how to react to situations. Be prepared and plan everything out, and stick to the plan. Let family members know what your plans are. 


With any luck, all of these plans will not be needed and sunny skies will remain!


From my pets to yours, “Woof, Meow!”




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