Hurricane Preparation – Plan for Your Four-Legged Family Members

Your pets don’t give a woof, meow, or tweet about weather predictions. Your furry and feathered friends can ignore the forecast because they depend completely on you to take care of the little things making life an everyday paradise – come rain or shine. They also depend upon you to take care of the big things, and one of those big things is knowing what you’ll do and where you’ll take them if your family must evacuate when a major hurricane is on its way.

A well-conceived hurricane preparation plan includes planning for the family pets. It begins with building a family emergency kit with basic supplies needed to survive in the immediate aftermath of a hurricane. That means enough food, water, medicines and other necessities for every member of the family for at least a week after a storm. Your pet is a member of the family and needs an emergency kit, too.

Building a disaster kit for Fido

All too often, retail establishments suffer damage or power outages and cannot open their doors for customers in the immediate days following a natural disaster. And, your pet does not want to miss a meal! That’s why thoughtful pet parents stock up on food to last for at least two weeks. In addition to food, your pet’s emergency kit should also include:

  • Pet bowls for food and water
  • Any medications
  • Proof of rabies shots and up-to-date immunizations
  • Favorite toys
  • Pet bed, kennel or cage
  • Leash
  • Current identification tag
  • Waste bags

The Humane Society also recommends protecting your pets with a microchip tag, as they can provide backup protection if Fido loses his collar and needs another method to finding a way back home.

Below, find a handy infographic outlining all the essential items necessary for your kit!


Have a destination in mind

Few experiences are more stressful than heading out of town on orders from a mandatory evacuation without a clue about where you’re headed. There is additional stress when animals are in tow. Not every hotel and public shelter accepts pets. Be sure to do your homework and find out what hotels and shelters do accept animals and add that information to your family emergency kit.

To find out if there is a public shelter in your county that accepts pets, visit your county’s government web page. Keep in mind that many counties require owners of pets to register with pet-friendly shelters in advance. They also ask that pet parents use public shelters as a last resort and cannot guarantee that a space will be available for pets. Often, there is a limit on how many animals can share the facility given capacity limitations, and space is on a first-come, first-served basis.

If a disaster occurs while you are away from home and your pet is left inside your house, a pet rescue alert sticker can provide peace of mind. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) offers a free sticker for your front door through an online order form that tells rescue workers the types and numbers of pets inside and how to contact your veterinarian.

Leaving pets behind when you evacuate is never a good option. Animals left to fend for themselves may become lost, injured or killed by the high winds and wind-borne debris associated with major hurricanes. And, refusing to heed a mandatory evacuation order because of pets in the household is extremely dangerous for people and pets alike.

Plan for your family and for your pets well in advance of approaching severe weather. It is the best way for everyone to survive and recover happily ever after. Talk to a Frontline Insurance agent about your homeowners insurance policy and other ways to protect your property, finances and loved ones. We are experts at planning and ready to help.

Please remember that the comments contained in this blog are general in nature and that coverage under any specific policy of insurance will depend upon the terms and conditions of such policy.