As Tropical Storm Andrea sweeps up the coast over the next couple of days, I am reminded that it is the beginning of Hurricane Season.

Super Storm Sandy, the recent tornado in Moore, Oklahoma, forest fires out west, the derecho here in the area last spring are all wake-up calls that we don’t always have the luxury of gathering items at the last minute.

Pet sitting in Washington DC, has reminded me that we are faced with a variety of weather related emergencies and also the possible need to either shelter in place or evacuate due to an act of terrorism.

Right now, over 250 pets are still in shelters waiting to be reunited with their families in Moore, OK.  Do you have the necessary paperwork to help you reclaim your pet if an emergency occurred?

Pet parents need to make plans for the pets in their family and share these plans with their pet sitters.

Some general tips to consider include:

  • Complete pet identification forms for each animal in your household.
  • Familiarize yourself with city, county and state emergency plans.
  • Crate pets before they are able to sense danger, to prevent them retreating to challenging hiding places.
  • Attach alert stickers to your windows and doors to show rescue workers that there are pets in the home that need rescuing.
  • Plan several evacuation routes with your pets in case a route is blocked.
  • Keep a full tank of gas for a smooth and quick evacuation.
  • Provide plenty of comfort and attention to pets after the emergency has passed.
  • At all times, it is important to have an emergency supply kit for your pet, including a pet identification form with photos, microchip number, shot records, food, water, veterinarian and emergency contact information (including one contact outside of the emergency area,) first aid supplies, and a three-week supply of medications. Keep the emergency kit in a sealed, waterproof bag or container./li>
  • Take the time to create a photo including both you and your pet.  If you are separated, this photo may help establish your relationship with a shelter and speed-up reconciliation.
  • Schedule time with your pet sitter to review your plans and make sure they have your most current emergency contact information.  Take this time to  create a joint plan if your pet is in their care while you are away.

Well, now that you have prepared your pet, you may want to begin creating a kit for the humans in your family by going to http://www.ready.gov/

Stay safe!