Hurricane Matthew is making its way to the U.S. and is reported to hit Florida and South Carolina. As evacuation notices have been issued, we want to share some emergency preparedness tips to make sure you and your pets stay safe.
In the case of a pending disaster:
- Always take your dog (and other pets) with you. If it's not safe for you at home, it's not safe for your pets either. Most evacuations are short, however you may not be able to return home right away, so make sure you take your pets with you.
- Make sure your pets have identification. Ensure that your pets are wearing collars with securely fastened, up-to-date identification. If your pet is not microchipped, it might be good to consider getting a microchip in the future. These are the best ways to ensure your pet is returned to you in the case that you are separated.
- Prepare an emergency kit. If you need to evacuate, you'll want to be prepared with supplies for you and your pet. Things to include: clean water, food, first aid equipment, and a way to transport your pet (crate or carrier).
- Find out where to go. Not all disaster shelters allow pets. Call ahead to confirm that a shelter near you will allow you to bring your dog or cat. Be aware that pets are not allowed in Red Cross shelters. If possible, have a list of "pet-friendly" places you can go in the event of an emergency.
- Keep an eye on your pets. If you know that an evacuation or disaster is coming, make sure you know where your pets are. Bring them inside so you won't have to search for them if you need to leave home quickly.
We hope that everyone stays safe during Hurricane Matthew. For more information on developing a pet emergency plan, check out these tips from AKC Reunite.
AKC Reunite is also providing updates on disaster relief for Hurricane Matthew on their homepage. You can find that information here.
If you'd like to donate to AKC Reunite's Canine Support & Relief Fund, you can do so here. The fund provides resources, support, funds, and other assistance to not-for-profit animal shelters and similar not-for-profit organizations providing care for domestic animals orphaned or displaced as a result of natural or civil disasters.