With Hurricane Florence making landfall, many of our thoughts go directly to "What about the pets?" For us pet-lovers, it can be impossible to imagine ever leaving your furry best friends behind. But in emergency situations, you might be worried about where they'll go, if they're allowed with you, and more. If you're ever in an area that requires evacuation because of hurricanes or other natural disasters, here are some tips.
Visit Your Vet
As soon as you find out about mandatory evacuation, check in with your pet with either a call or a visit. A simple call will give you info on if your pup needs an vaccinations before you leave, and can help you get a multiple-week supply of your dog's prescription if they have one. If your dog isn't microchipped, ask your vet if it can be done before the evacuation period.
Pack an Emergency Kit
You want to be prepared, so pack an emergency kit not just for you, but for your pets, too. Put their prescriptions in there as well as plenty of food and water. You can include "fun" things in the kit, too, like your pup's favorite toys or treats. Pack leashes, collars, and anything that you can think of that will keep your pup with you.
Plan Your Travel
Sadly, some evacuation centers don't allow pets during hurricanes. If you do plan on heading to a shelter, check ahead of time that they will accept your pets. In the same vein, if you're planning on heading to a hotel at any point during your evacuation, check to make sure that hotel accepts pets (there are many website that will tell you this information, or you can call the hotel and check).
If you find yourself unable to get into a shelter or a hotel that allows pets, find somebody who can foster your pet. Many Facebook groups exist explicitly for this purpose, and volunteers are more than willing to step forward to foster your pet during a storm. If your family member doesn't have room for your whole family, at least check if they have room for your furry friends.
And of course, never abandon your pets. This seems obvious, but sometimes in times of emergency, our heads can get cloudy. Just remember that times will get better if you have your pup along for the ride!