BE PREPARED: Prepare your pets for emergencies

The National Hurricane Center says winds of 125 mph are expected as Hurricane Harvey makes landfall in Texas. The center expects Harvey to become a major hurricane by Friday before it reaches the coast.

As the hurricane approaches Texas, the hurricane's winds have increased to 85 mph (138 kph).

According to the National Hurricane Center, the hurricane is expected to make landfall in Texas on Friday night or early Saturday, then stall near the middle Texas coast through the weekend. The hurricane is expected to produce up to 20 inches (51 centimeters) of rain and up to 30 inches (76 centimeters) of rain in isolated areas over the middle and upper Texas coast through early next week.

Therefore, it is important Texans prepare for themselves and their pets. 

If you leave your pets behind, they may be lost, injured – or worse. Never leave a pet chained outdoors.

MAKE A PLAN

  • Create a buddy system in case you’re not home. Ask a trusted neighbor to check on your animals.
  • Identify shelters. For public health reasons, many emergency shelters cannot accept pets.
  • Find pet friendly hotels along your evacuation route and keep a list in your pet’s emergency kit.
  • Locate boarding facilities or animal hospitals near your evacuation shelter.
  • Consider an out-of-town friend or relative
  • Locate a veterinarian or animal hospital in the area where you may be seeking temporary shelter, in case your pet needs medical care. Add the contact information to your emergency kit.
  • Have your pet is microchipped and make sure that you not only keep your address and phone number up-to-date, but that you also include contact info for an emergency contact outside of your immediate area.
  • Call your local emergency management office, animal shelter or animal control office to get advice and information.
  • If you are unable to return to your home right away, you may need to board your pet. Find out where pet boarding facilities are located.
  • Most boarding kennels, veterinarians and animal shelters will need your pet's medical records to make sure all vaccinations are current.
  • If you have no alternative but to leave your pet at home, there are some precautions you must take, but remember that leaving your pet at home alone can place your animal in great danger!

BUILD A KIT

Include basic survival items and items to keep your pet happy and comfortable.

To download a printable list of items for your emergency kit, click here.

  • Food. At least a three day supply in an airtight, waterproof container.
  • Water. At least three days of water specifically for your pets.
  • Medicines and medical records.
  • Important documents. Registration information, adoption papers and vaccination documents. Talk to your veterinarian about microchipping and enrolling your pet in a recovery database.
  • First aid kit. Cotton bandage rolls, bandage tape and scissors; antibiotic ointment; flea and tick prevention; latex gloves, isopropyl alcohol and saline solution. Including a pet first aid reference book is a good idea too.
  • Collar or harness with ID tag, rabies tag and a leash.
  • Crate or pet carrier. Have a sturdy, safe crate or carrier in case you need to evacuate. The carrier should be large enough for your pet to stand, turn around and lie down.
  • Sanitation. Pet litter and litter box if appropriate, newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags and household chlorine bleach.
  • A picture of you and your pet together. If you become separated, a picture of you and your pet together will help you document ownership and allow others to assist you. Add species, breed, age, sex, color and distinguishing characteristics.
  • Familiar items. Familiar items, such as treats, toys and bedding can help reduce stress for your pet.

Keep this kit in a designated place and have it ready in case you have to leave your home quickly.

Make sure all family members know where the kit is kept.

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