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Clay Humane: Keep pets in mind during hurricane prep

Posted 5/30/24

ORANGE PARK  –   Clay Humane, a nonprofit veterinary clinic, is encouraging pet parents to prepare for the 2024 hurricane season on the First Coast. The Atlantic hurricane season …

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Clay Humane: Keep pets in mind during hurricane prep


Posted

ORANGE PARK – Clay Humane, a nonprofit veterinary clinic, is encouraging pet parents to prepare for the 2024 hurricane season on the First Coast.

The Atlantic hurricane season officially runs Saturday through November 30.  A forecast by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts an 85% chance of an above-normal season with 17 to 25 named storms. Eight to 13 are projected to becoming hurricanes - four to seven becoming major hurricanes with sustained winds of at least 111 mph winds due to La Niña and warm waters in the Atlantic basin.

Since storms can brew at any time, preparation is essential.

To get ahead of what’s predicted to be a busy hurricane season, Clay Humane is recommending the following do’s and don’ts for animal owners regarding storm readiness.

What to do 

  • Create a disaster kit: Don’t wait until a storm approaches and store shelves are bare. Prepare a pet kit that includes a four-day supply of bottled water, pet food, and medications. Food and water bowls. Animal first-aid kit. Litter and/or disposable bags for pet waste. Extra collars, leashes and harnesses. Photos of your pet in case you become separated. Copies of pet medical records (especially rabies and other vaccination history). Animal-specific supplies include a spray bottle with water for birds, appropriate strong bowls for reptiles and bedding for hamsters and other small pets.

  • Be ready to travel: Make sure you have an appropriate-size carrier for your pet with ample room. Label the carrier with your pet’s name and contact info. For birds, don’t forget the perch, paper towels and a timed feeder.  

  • Identify pet-friendly shelters: Not all shelters accept pets, and the ones that do may have limitations on which animals they allow. Remember to bring up-to-date vaccination records with you.

     

  • Ensure pet tags and microchips are current: Pets often run away or get separated from their owners during disasters. Ensure your pet always wears identification tags with your current contact information, especially your phone number. If your pet has a microchip (which is recommended), confirm the company the chip is registered with has your current information so any vet can scan the chip and contact you if someone finds your pet.

  • Memorize evacuation routes: Should you need to evacuate or can’t find a pet-friendly shelter nearby, know the appropriate path to get out of harm’s way. Know the evacuation route without relying on GPS, which may prove unreliable when needed.

What not to do

  • Don’t leave pets outside: It isn’t safe to leave pets outside during a storm. Bring your pet indoors to a safe place with clean, fresh water to avoid overheating.

  • Don’t leave pets behind: If you evacuate, take your animals. Never leave them at home to fend for themselves during a natural disaster, increasing the risk of being injured or lost. 

  • Don’t put off preparing for a storm: These tips are easy to implement ahead of time to ensure you aren’t scrambling for crucial pet supplies when the shelves are bare.