Animal support groups say pet owners should plan for how they will care for their furry friends during a disaster.
Charleston Animal Society CEO Joe Elmore said now is the time to get your pets ready for Hurricane Florence.
“Prepare. Meaning, get an emergency pet supply kit,” he said. “Plan what you’re going to do exactly during the emergency and then stay informed. Know about the different types of emergencies.”
Elmore said an emergency pet supply kit should have enough food and water for each pet for three days, medicines, medical and vaccination records, and a pet first aid kit. One for humans will do.
If your pet is not microchipped, or vaccinations are not up to date, call your vet now.
“The collar with the ID tag is very important because lots of folks are not going to have microchip scanners if you happen to be separated from your pet,” Elmore said. “If you’ve got a photo of you with your pet, and that’s really easy, just take your cell phone and take a photo, a selfie with your pet so both of you are in the same picture. Make sure it’s a really good closeup that’s easy to recognize your pet.”
If you have to evacuate, take a leash, a crate or pet carrier, litter box, cleaning supplies and your pet’s favorite toys to comfort them during the distress of being away from home. If you have to leave your pet, which is not recommended, secure the pet inside the house with plenty of water and food and have someone check on them.
Most emergency shelters do not accept pets besides service animals. However, a handful do. Check the South Carolina Emergency Management Division website for a list of pet-friendly facilities.
Click here for more disaster advice from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. For more information about pet-friendly shelters, contact your county’s emergency management office.