When preparing for hurricane season, it’s important to include a plan for your animal companions. In June, UF Online Shelter Medicine faculty medicine Dr. Lawrence Garcia gave a few pointers to WUFT on what to consider in preparing for an emergency. Dr. Garcia is the medical director of the Veterinary Emergency Treatment Service Team at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, which is called to disaster areas to aid animals and shelters.
Here are some notable tips for being pet prepared:
- Get together a “go bag” that includes hard copies of all medical and vaccination records
- One month’s worth of medications
- Seven-day supply of food and water
- Bedding, leashes, crates
- Toys or other items to help occupy your pet
Another key factor in planning is reviewing what options you have for your pet and family in case of evacuation orders. Many people put themselves and animal family members in danger by not heeding warning because they think a pet cannot accompany them, or pets being left behind. It is important to find what resources you have for your pet at hotels or temporary care with shelters. You can read Dr. Garcia’s interview with details about checklists and other tools to be ready.