Hurricane Season and Pets

As hurricane season begins in Florida June 1, it’s important to remember companion animals in your preparations.  The SPCA recommends having leashes, harnesses, and carriers on hand in case evacuation becomes necessary.  Other important items to keep in your emergency departure kit include your animals’ medication, food (can opener if needed), water, and bedding.

Another good component of your emergency go kit is a copy of your animal’s veterinary records, in a waterproof bag.  If the need to board your animal arises following evacuation, you may need those records.   That waterproof bag, or your phone, is also a great place for a photo of you and your animal together, in case you need to prove the animal is yours.

A key consideration, in case you and your animal somehow become separated, is identification.  Make sure your animal has an identification tag on its collar, including your address and telephone number.  An identification chip, which your veterinarian can implant, makes it much more likely you and your animal will be reunited if separated.  If you want to use the latest tech, you can even obtain a GPS tag that will pinpoint your animal’s exact location.

In case you need to go to evacuate to a shelter, please keep in mind that these Jacksonville area hurricane shelters will allow your animals to come with you (although they’re not equipped for reptiles):

  • Chimney Lakes Elementary School
  • Landmark Middle School
  • Legends Community Center
  • Mandarin Middle School
  • Atlantic Coast High School

Atlantic hurricane season ends November 30.  Till then, here’s wishing good luck and safety for all of us and our animals!