Hurricane Sandy is right now bearing down on the East Coast, and millions are preparing to ride out the worst, or are evacuating to safer ground. After big disasters like Katrina, it was realized that many pet owners were sadly separated for a long time, sometimes permanently, when they were forced to evacuate and leave their pets behind. Some pet owners refused to leave their beloved pets behind, and chose to stay with them, rather than abandon them to an uncertain fate. Fortunately this time, measures were taken and rules were changed to allow pets to go with their owners during evacuations.
New York City is currently allowing pets on all subways, buses and taxis during the evacuation, which is a huge relief for pet owners who would not dream of leaving anyone behind. If your area is being evacuated, check to see if your pet can leave with you, and be prepared to move quickly if so.
Here in Troy and the surrounding Monadnock Region, measures are being taken, and the National Guard is being sent into New Hampshire to prepare. Even though it doesn’t look like we’ll experience the worst of the storm, it is still a good idea to be prepared in case things change or become worse than expected.
Pets should be wearing identification in case they become lost or separated during the storm or evacuations. Dogs and cats should have collars with tags, preferably listing your cell phone number or another number that you can be reached away from home. Larger animals like horses should also have identification in the form of a tag with your contact info on their halter, write the info with a waterproof marking crayon on their body, or you can braid an ID tag into your horse’s mane. Another excellent idea that I read about on this blog is to use those little keychain mini rewards scan cards that many stores give out. The bar code is linked to your information, so can be scanned and your contact information retrieved to locate you. Secure them to the halter or mane with a twist tie or cable tie.
In addition to identification, have food, carriers, blankets and medications ready in case of an evacuation. You may need to move quickly, and having everything ready to go will make things go more smoothly and safely for you and your pet.
If you are away and have a pet sitter caring for your animals, your sitter should have detailed instructions on what you would like done with your pets and the location of everything your sitter needs in case they need to evacuate your pets for you.