Here’s how to keep your pet safe during a hurricane evacuation

July 12, 2007 at 8:36 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Former St. Charles Parish animal shelter director, LeeAnne Matherne, knows the importance of animal safety during hurricane season.

And encourages residents to treat their pets with the same value they treat themselves and their children when evacuating for a hurricane.

“Don’t leave your pets home alone,” Matherne said.

“This is one of the main lessons we learned from Hurricane Katriana, a storm that starts out as three days away from home could end up weeks or even longer, depending on the damages,” she continued.

“There were many pets that had to be rescued. We rescued dogs, cats, and horses.”

In the event of a storm, follow these guidelines set by FEMA.

Have a survival and safety bag for every animal.  These should be prepared well in advance of a hurricane.  Try using a mid-sized duffle bag to store these items so you aren’t scrambling for something when disaster strikes. 
Recommended items for doggie duffle survival bag:

- A one week’s supply of food.  Buy it next time you purchase dog food and keep it in your doggie backpack survival kit.  If there is no disaster, rotate the food every two to three months. Plan on 5 pounds for small dogs and twenty pounds of food for large dogs.

- Include disposable dog waste bags.  Plan on 15-20 of these.

- Include cleaning supplies.  You can use powdered dish washing soap in a plastic bag for washing your dog’s food and water bowls.  Also include a small can if disinfectant spray for cleaning your dog’s traveling crate.

-Add an extra dog tag and collar to your duffle.  Be sure it is one on which you can write as you may be living temporarily during evacuation or even moving around.  You’ll want to be able to write down the address of where you are because you may not be able to get to where you thought you were going.

Whether you like them or not, you must have a carrier for your pet.  They are far safer in a carrier than in your arms or in your car.  Put an identification sticker on the carrier and throw a couple of your pet’s preferred toys in there as well. 

View other articles written Shonna Riggs

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