Plan for Disasters – and Don’t Forget Fido
By Camp Bow Wow
Forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service, released a statement on May 24 predicting above-average hurricane activity this year — which would make it the seventh consecutive above-average hurricane season.
“As we reflect on another potentially busy hurricane season, past storms — such as Superstorm Sandy, which devastated the New York metro area ten years ago — remind us that the impact of one storm can be felt for years,” said NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad, Ph.D.
While San Antonio rarely takes a direct hurricane hit, we often feel the aftermath of inclement weather. It’s important to be prepared so a disaster does not catch you unaware.
“Hurricane Ida spanned nine states, demonstrating that anyone can be in the direct path of a hurricane and in danger from the remnants of a storm system,” said FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell. “It’s important for everyone to understand their risk and take proactive steps to get ready now by visiting Ready.gov and Listo.gov for preparedness tips, and by downloading the FEMA App to make sure you are receiving emergency alerts in real-time.”
As you make preparations, don’t forget your furry family members. You wouldn’t want to leave Fido behind to weather a storm alone.
Many public shelters and hotels don’t allow pets, so have a safe place in mind beforehand. You can develop a buddy system with neighbors, friends or relatives in case you need to leave your home or can’t care for your pet. Map out routes and call ahead so you know where you can reserve pet-friendly lodging. Ask if they’ll waive a no-pet policy in an emergency.
Build an emergency kit with food, water and medicines. Include first aid, a backup leash, collar, ID tag and up-to-date vaccination records in a waterproof container, because pet shelters require proof of current vaccinations before they accept a guest. (You can also take a picture and store the information on your phone.) You might also add extra towels in case Fido gets wet or dirty. The emergency and transition might be emotionally difficult for your pup, so don’t forget favorite toys and bedding to reduce anxiety.
Microchipping your pup will help a rescuer return Fido safely should you be separated. Make sure your information is up to date and includes a back-up contact out of the area in case your whole region is affected. Don’t forget a picture so people can identify your pup and you can prove ownership.
If you’ve had to leave your home, don’t let your pup loose upon return until you’ve made sure your fence has not broken and no dangerous debris or chemicals landed in your yard.
With a little bit of preparation, you’ll be able to face the potential busy storm season ahead knowing both your furry and human family members will be well cared for if the need arise.