The 2023 Atlantic hurricane season officially starts June 1. Forecasters are predicting a slightly below-average season and meteorologists from Colorado State University predict a total of 13 tropical storms will form, of which six will become hurricanes. The time to get ready is now and one of the most important things to do is to make a plan for your pets. If you have to evacuate, you’ll need to know where you’re going to take them and how you’re going to get them there.
Here are some tips for preparing your pets for hurricane season:
- Get your pet microchipped. This will help you find them if they get lost during the storm.
- Update your pets’ vaccinations. This will help protect them from diseases that may be present in shelters or other areas where people and animals are displaced.
- Pack a pet emergency kit. This should include food, water, medications, a first-aid kit, and a carrier.
- If you have to evacuate, take your pets with you. Never leave them behind.
- Secure your home before you leave. This means boarding up windows and doors, and removing any potential hazards from your yard.
- During the storm, keep your pets inside and away from windows. Do not let them outside to go to the bathroom, as they could be injured or lost.
- After the storm, check on your pets and make sure they are safe. Look for any injuries or signs of illness. If you have any concerns take them to your veterinarian.
By following these tips, you can help keep your pets safe during Hurricane Season.
Here are some additional tips:
- If you are staying in a pet-friendly hotel or shelter, be sure to call ahead to make sure they have space for your pets.
- During the storm, keep your pets calm and comfortable. Provide them with a safe place to stay, such as a crate or carrier, and give them plenty of food and water.
By following these tips, you can help to keep your pets safe during Hurricane Season.
Here are some resources to help you prepare for hurricane season:
- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA): https://www.aspca.org/
- National Hurricane Center: https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/
- Pinellas County https://pinellas.gov/department/emergency-management/
- Hillsborough County: https://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/en/residents/public-safety/emergency-management
- More from SPCA Tampa Bay: https://spcatampabay.org/a-pet-parents-guide-to-hurricane-preparedness/