Severe Weather Guide: Protect Your Pets

Protect your pets during severe weather. Learn what to do before storm season, when the storm hits and what to include in an essential storm kit for pets.

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Before Storm Season

  • Find local shelters that allow pets. American Red Cross shelters only accept service animals, but some municipalities have special shelters for people with pets. Contact them about pre-registering and any special requirements. Leaving your pet alone in the house should be the very last resort. Your local Humane Society, ASPCA or your vet will have information on boarding and other resources for pets in your area.
  • You may want to have a microchip implanted in your pet. Most animal shelters routinely scan lost animals.
  • Keep a good picture of your pet so you can post it if the pet is lost.
  • If you plan to leave the area before the storm, search the Web for listings of pet-friendly motels.
  • Make arrangements well in advance for exotic pets like reptiles, birds or rare fish.

When a Storm Hits

  • Bring your pets inside before the storm and keep them in the safe part of the house with the rest of your family.
  • Keep a leash close at hand for your dog, and keep cats and small mammals in cages or carriers to keep them from running off and hiding.
  • Don’t let your animals drink or swim in floodwater.
  • If you’re evacuating, make sure tags and collars are securely attached, and write your cell phone or current contact numbers on the collars.

Essential Items for Pets

  • Cage or carrying case
  • Food and water for a week
  • Collar with ID and vaccination tags
  • Litter, newspaper or bedding
  • Paper towels and plastic bags for cleanups
  • Toys, chewies and blankets
  • A recent picture of the pet
  • Medicines and first aid
  • A copy of immunization records, if your pet needs to go to a boarding facility

Information for this post was made in collaboration with Lowes for a severe weather guide.

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