Hurricane Preparedness Tips for Pets


The 2009 Atlantic Hurricane Season begins June 1 and is expected to bring 12 named storms, with six of those becoming hurricanes. This annual prediction was made by the esteemed Colorado State University forecasting team, who also says there’s a 54 percent chance that at least one major hurricane will make landfall in the U.S.

Preparing your family to evacuate or take shelter against these unpredictable storms requires initial planning. PurinaCare⪚ Pet Health Insurance would like to offer some tips to help prepare your family pets during this stressful time.

Having a “Pet Evacuation Kit” ready to go will aide you in making quick decisions during an evacuation or storm threat. Below is a suggested checklist of emergency items for your pet:

  • All pets should be wearing an identification tag and collar
  • At least one week’s supply of food in a water-tight container
  • Containers of potable water
  • Leash for dogs
  • Harness and leash for cats
  • Appropriate size pet carrier for both dogs and cats
  • Make sure vaccinations are up to date (rabies, kennel cough, etc.)
  • Copies of vaccination certificates (this will be required by shelters)
  • Any medications (including heartworm prevention)
  • Litter box and litter for cats
  • Updated photos of your pet in case they get lost

It is also a good idea to identify a few evacuation sites and research potential pet accommodations in the area. Make a few calls now to check on the boarding policies of the local kennels or animal shelters and ensure you add any of their requirements to your emergency kit. If your evacuation plan includes a stay at a hotel or motel, determine ahead of time its pet polices.

Many lessons were learned from recent storm tragedies, such as Hurricane Katrina victims who encountered designated evacuation shelters that did not allow pets. As a result, some people refused to evacuate without their pets, or worse, abandoned them. Creating an evacuation plan now for you and your pet can relieve some of that stress if faced with an evacuation choice.

Information provided by:
William H. Craig, DVM, chief medical and underwriting director of PurinaCare® Pet Health Insurance. Dr. Craig brings 30 years in private veterinary practice and an impressive array of contributions to veterinary medicine to PurinaCare.


About Author

Devoted pet owner and now, devoted pet editor, Judi worked in traditional offices, keeping the books and the day-to-day operations organized. Taking her dog to work every day for over a decade never seemed odd. Neither did having an office cat. She knows what it's like to train a new puppy and she's experienced the heartache of losing beloved companions. Retired, she currently lives with her spoiled dog and four chickens (who are, interestingly enough, also spoiled).


  1. Turn Your Pet Into A Well Behaved Family Member on

    It’s just good pet parenting to have a plan in place for the animals in the house as well as the people. Crates, food, water . . . these are all things that pet owners might have difficulty getting once a hurricane.

  2. It must be really hard having to face such a calamity like the Hurricane Katrina. I also remembered how much devastation it had brought our country as well. It is such a relief as well that a lot of pet owners are preparing a pet kit in case certain emergencies arises.

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