The degree to which we are successful in self-defense directly corresponds to a high level of training and preparation. In other words, very few individuals enter fights they know they’ll lose.
When it comes to hurricane season in New Jersey, the same approach can apply. Most residents know how to protect themselves and their homes, and safeguarding a pet during a natural disaster must also rank high on the priority list.
Natural disasters in New Jersey aren’t rare. Hurricanes, nor’easters, flooding, fires and even tornadoes are part of our state’s long history. They happen quickly, sometimes with little warning, and have the power to leave wide swaths of destruction behind.
A pet owner that knows how to shelter a pet during a natural disaster is a prepared one, and can shield their best friend long after a storm passes.
One of the best tactics for disaster preparedness is very simple – and small. A pet microchip can be instrumental in reuniting a pet and their owner in the case of accidental separation before, during and after an emergency.
Where to Go
Most evacuation shelters cannot allow pets. We recommend calling around at hotels or motels to find a pet-friendly option away from the shore. Ask friends, relatives, and co-workers if you can stay if/when an evacuation is ordered.
Pets that are left behind during a natural disaster are at risk of injury, separation/loss, stress and anxiety, and even death. If you must flee your home, please take your pet with you.
It’s important to put together an emergency kit that will enable you to care for your pet during a natural disaster that includes:
- Food and water to last 7-10 days
- Portable bowls
- Prescription medications
- Puppy pads or litter tray
- Copies of medical records (microchip information, spay/neuter documentation, proof of vaccination and parasite prevention)
- Travel crate/kennel with a recent picture of your pet on it
- Extra leash, collar and tags
- Cleaning supplies
- First aid kit
The News Report
As soon as you know that a storm system is coming through bring your pet inside the home. If they are crate trained, encourage them to relax in a quiet room with closed windows and doors. White noise, like a fan or TV can help keep anxiety at bay.
Soothe Your Pet During a Natural Disaster
If possible, stay with your pet and soothe them with your reassuring presence. Wait for the storm to pass before venturing past the threshold together. Please be aware of the following occurrences after a big storm:
- Downed power lines
- High water (likely to be contaminated with waste, bacteria and parasites; do not allow your pet to drink)
- Debris, such as fallen tree limbs/branches, metal, building materials, etc.
- Helpless strays or displaced pets
Missing landmarks, new scents, and covered ground can make animals disoriented. Walk your pet on a leash so they can safely begin to make new associations between their home and the surrounding environment.
Planning ahead is the best thing an owner can do to protect a pet during a natural disaster. If you have any questions or concerns, please let our staff know. We’re always here for you at Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital.