Hurricane Sandy is being called a “superstorm”. It is expected to make landfall in New Jersey early Tuesday morning. Destructive winds, heavy rainfall, flooding and even heavy, wet snow are expected to impact a large majority of the Mid-Atlantic and New England regions. In preparing for a major storm like this one it is important to also include emergency preparations for your dog.
In the event you need to evacuate you need to take your dog with you. “If your home is not safe for you, it is not safe for your pet,” said Tim Rickey, Senior Director of Field Investigations and Response with the ASPCA. When making your evacuation plans check to make sure any shelter or hotel you are going to is pet friendly. Rickey noted that New York City shelters are pet friendly, which many pet owners were not aware of for Hurricane Irene last year. Check with the shelters in your area to see if they will allow your dog. The ASPCA also keeps a database of pet friendly hotels on their website.
Even if you are not evacuating there are still important steps you should take to make sure your dog will be safe during the storm. Before the storm hits, make sure all pets are wearing collars and ID tags with up-to-date identification. It is a good idea to have a current picture of your dog in case something does happen to them during the storm. The ASPCA also recommends having a Rescue Alert Sticker for your home. This sticker lets rescue workers know that there are pets in your home and how many there are.
When rushing out to get emergency supplies for the storm don’t forget to also pick up the necessary supplies for your dog. A kit with items such as medical records, water, pet food and medications, and pet first aid supplies is recommended. If you do have to evacuate take this kit with you. The ASPCA recommends you have five to seven days of pet food and water available for your dog.
At the first sign of the storm you want to bring your dog inside. You do not want to have to be searching for your dog during the storm. It is best to bring the dog inside before the storm hits and make sure they are safe and comforted.
After the storm you and your dog are not out of the woods. You will need to be careful and keep your pet on a leash, even in your yard, in case of wreckage from the storm. FEMA advises that in addition to down power lines and other wreckage there may be snakes and other dangerous animals roaming after the storm.
Finally, it is important to start to get your dog back into their normal routine as soon as possible. The storm is disorienting for your dog. The smells that they are used to may be gone and they may be disoriented enough to not recognize their own home.