How to keep your pets safe during severe weather
During severe weather, we often think of protecting our family and our property but how are we making sure our pets are also safe? Based on data from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, here are a few ways you can ensure your furry family members are also safe in the event of a tornado or severe weather.
1. Build a tornado kit for your pet
It’s important for every family to have a disaster readiness kit in case of an emergency. These kits often include things like important documents, a first aid kit, snacks and water, or anything valuable or sentimental that can be grabbed quickly and easily. Pet parents need to take this kit a step further to ensure you also have essentials for your pet.
Here are some ideas of what you should pack in a pet tornado kit:
- Extra supply of any needed medication
- Several day’s worth of food in an airtight container
- Travel equipment like carriers or crates
- Pet food and water bowls
- Familiar items such as toys or bedding to soothe your pet
- Towels or puppy pads
2. Identify shelters
Once you have your kit ready the next step is to know where to go. If you have a basement or tornado shelter then you do not need to worry about finding a nearby shelter. However, if you do not have a shelter at home then it’s best to research nearby public shelters. Many of these public places do not allow pets so do your research early and make a plan for your furry kiddos.
3. Have your pet microchipped
Microchips are implanted under your pets skin and are a way to locate lost pets and ensure they are reunited with their owners. When a tornado or severe weather hits, it’s easy to get separated from your pets. A microchip could be the difference between losing your fur baby forever and being reunited. If you choose not to microchip your pet a tag with up to date identification is very important.
4. Stay informed
Making sure you are weather aware and alerted of potential severe weather. No matter how prepared you are, if you don’t know to take shelter then nothing else matters. You can enable emergency alerts on your cell phone, pay attention to local TV, sirens, and radio alerts.
You can make sure you are prepared in advance by practicing getting the entire family, including pets, to your tornado safe area during calm weather. It’s a good idea to train your dog to go to the area on command or come to you on command to make sure you can get everyone into the safe area quickly. Make sure your whole family knows the plan and what to do in case of a weather emergency.