Cats, dogs and disasters – are you pet’s bags packed?

Samantha storm


As I write the remnants of once Hurricane Erika are effecting our little town on the east coast of Florida. Rain as thick as a waterfall pours from the sky, and continuous rolling thunder has Kodi the corgi bunkered under my husband’s desk, while Samantha the cat calmly watches the storm from my office window.


While I know there are dogs who take these storms in stride, and probably a few cats that don’t, I have found that most of our pets have had definite ideas about thunder lightning and the space shuttle, dogs against the above, cats — don’t really care.

No longer do we hear the sonic booms of the shuttle, but boy has this been a thunderous summer.

So far, we’ve been lucky. I say so far because many of the whopper hurricane seasons of past started the last week of August and beginning of September. So knocking on wood, I continue.

Preparation is important. Along with hurricanes my little slice of paradise also contends with wildfires, and while we have not had to evacuate (fingers still crossed) for more than 12 years, it is important to be prepared.

Have an evac kit ready for your pets. Kits should include:

  1. A copy of their vaccination records from their vet (tags are not proof)
  2. An week’s supply of any meds they are on and a copy of any prescriptions.
  3. Food, jugs to fill with water from home
  4. Kitty litter and disposable pan (top of a can box from the grocery store works)
  5. Bedding, toys, something to chew on to relieve stress
  6. Crate – hotels are generally open to pets during disasters but crates are required. Crates are also necessary for most shelters that allow pets.
  7. Updated identification that includes an emergency number. I use microchips in my pets, but if you use tags check them now.
  8. Extra leash and collar and doggie bags.
  9. Patience – this is important for both of you. Your pet doesn’t know what’s going on and may have some behavioral issues.Nearly every place has some type of disaster that can occur.. If you are in the midwest and use underground shelters, make sure your pet’s needs are included.

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