Dogs, but generally not cats, often have a fear of storms, making States like Florida a tough place to live.
Our household is hoping for a quiet hurricane season. On June 6, Tropical Storm Colin rolled through our section of the state with some wind and rain. Certainly no Hurricane Frances or Charley – thank goodness.
The Estes dogs were not impressed with Tropical Storm Colin. This is especially true for Buddy, the Jack Russell.
Buddy was adopted in Orlando but was moved to Arizona almost immediately. Arizona doesn’t have hurricanes, and not that many thunderstorms .
He came home with us last December because he was not adapting well to our granddaughters’ new found mobility. He liked her fine – if she stayed in one place.
So to keep the peace, and the dog, good old mom and dad brought him back to Florida. A place where there are thunderstorms, tropical storms and hurricanes.
As the bands of rain from Colin passed through the area, both dogs were quite upset, even while wearing their ThunderShirts. Buddy curled up on the bed, curtains drawn, and Kodi went to a favorite spot by the couch. They are where they feel safe, and that’s all that matters.
Tropical Storm Colin was a weather nudge. We are into hurricane season, and we need to be prepared.
If you live in an area where you might have to evacuate; this include wildfires, hurricanes, or even into your own tornado shelter, your emergency preparations need to inlcude your pets. Preparing an evacuation bag now for your pets will only take a bit of your time. It will be time well spent.
The kit isn’t just for those who live in evacuation areas. It’s for those inland, who may lose power, or be unable to get out for a couple of days.
Here are a few items to gather for your pet: Veterinary records for proof of vaccinations (put these in a zip lock bag. Tags are not recognized as proof of vaccination); pet medication; two, 2-liter plastic soda bottles for water; zip lock bags of dry food or extra cans of pet food; plastic food and water dishes; cat litter and disposable pan; crates for each pet and blankets; extra leash; doggie bags; one or two favorite toys (these can be tossed in at the last minute); ThunderShirts (if your dog uses them).
If you need to evacuate, or if you are sheltering in place, fill up the 2-liter bottles when you fill up your family’s water needs – before the storm.
Now is also the time to verify that your pet’s ID is up to date on their collar or their microchip.
The best crates I have found are the open wire style. These allow for more ventiation than the hard side, airline-style crates. Select one that is large enough for your dog too stand and turn around in. Too big is not better. When scared, most dogs prefer a smaller “cave.”
This is also a good time to find out where the emergency shelters that are pet-friendly are, in your area. These are last resort, for survival, shelters. They are not like sleeping in a hotel far away from the disaster or hunkering down in your, or a friend’s, home.