Tropical depression – Learn more with Healthier Pets Today! Hurricane season can be scary.
With the threat of an impending tropical depression, you must take all precautions necessary to keep your family safe—including your pets.
Whether you’re staying in place or planning to evacuate, stocking up on the right pet supplies can ease the stress of hurricane season and ensure that your pets have what they need.
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What is Meant by Tropical Depression?
A tropical depression forms when a low-pressure area is accompanied by thunderstorms that produce a circular wind flow with maximum sustained winds below 39 mph.
An upgrade to a tropical storm occurs when cyclonic circulation becomes more organized and maximum sustained winds gust between 39 and 73 mph.
How Do You Keep Pets Safe During a Storm?
Close windows, curtains, and blinds to muffle noise and reduce lightning flashes, and turn on a radio or television for some cover noise to dilute thunder or the sounds of hard wind and rain.
Keep doors closed during the tropical depression, and never take your pet outside during a storm when they might panic and run away.
All pet owners should have an emergency go-bag prepared with necessary supplies to care for their pet for at least five to seven days.
Whether you evacuate and bring them with you or are sheltering in place and unable to leave your home.
Talk With Your Veterinarian About Hurricane Preparation
Partner with your veterinarian to talk about emergency planning. Discuss what to include in a kit for your pet based on their specific needs.
Your veterinarian can help you tailor your hurricane pet supplies to your pet’s specific needs and point out items you may need to consider.
They are also an excellent resource for providing you with contact information for veterinary offices outside of designated evacuation zones.
Here are the essential supplies you should keep in your pet safety kit for hurricanes:
- Five to seven days’ worth of nonperishable pet food in sealed containers. A hand-powered can opener to open any food cans.
- At least seven days’ worth of water for each pet. Beware of your pet drinking flood water since it’s often contaminated with mold and bacteria, making it unsafe to drink. If you can’t drink it, neither should your pets.
- Photocopies and/or USB copies of each pet’s medical records (including vaccinations) or copies saved online or in a pet health tracker app on your phone.
- Medical records, veterinarian name, medication, feeding schedule, and current photos of your pet(s). These items can be particularly important if your pets need to be boarded or if you become separated from them.
- Recent photos of your pets—either printed or saved on your phone (in case you are separated and need to make “lost pet” posters)
- A waterproof container with a two-week supply of any prescription medications your pet is on—including heartworm medication and treatments for fleas and ticks.
- Be sure to fill these prescriptions well in advance or at the first notice of a tropical depression approaching.
- A 1- to 2-month supply of pet medications is needed, as they may be difficult or impossible to find during and after a hurricane.
- Pet-safe cleaning and potty supplies: disinfectant, garbage bags, potty pads, or indoor potty options like artificial grass patches, cat litter, a disposable litter box, and paper towels.
- Pet food dishes and water bowls
- Pet first aid kit to help stabilize your pet in its case if injured until veterinary care is found.
- Collars or harnesses to attach ID tags with your information, and leashes to keep dogs safely by your side.Sturdy, extra leashes that have reflective tape or flashlights.
- ID tags with up-to-date contact information. Even if your pets are microchipped, ID tags offer a quick and easy way for pets to be identified during an emergency situation and reunited with you if you become separated.
- These items can be particularly important if your pets need to be boarded or if you become separated from them.
- A travel crate, you will want one for each pet. Roomy carriers allow your pet to move around, ensure safety, and help them feel more comfortable during their confinement.
- Comfort items for your pet, including blankets, beds, treats, and toys. Toys or treats to ease stress.
- Pet calming aids like supplements or anxiety vests can help reduce anxiety during an emergency.
- A list of the closest locations of pet-friendly shelters and regional animal emergency centers.
Make Sure Your Pet Is Microchipped
Microchipping is a minor procedure performed at a veterinary office, much like a vaccine. It can provide permanent identification for your pet, which will be critical to finding them when lost during a hurricane.
Microchipping involves inserting a tiny chip under your pet’s skin. When scanned with a special reader, the chip provides an identification number.
This identification number is entered into a national database, allowing the office to contact you.
Ensure your pet is microchipped, and double-check your contact information to ensure it’s up to date with the microchip company.
This will ensure that you are reunited with your animal(s) in case of separation during a tropical depression.
Make Sure Your Pet Is Current on Vaccinations
During a hurricane, your pet might be exposed to contaminated flood waters, diseases like leptospirosis, or respiratory conditions like Bordetella.
Ensure your pets are updated on annual vaccinations, especially during hurricane season.
Ask your veterinarian if any additional vaccines may be appropriate for your pet, especially if you live in an area where natural disasters are more common.
Fill Out a Pet Emergency Sticker for Your Front Door
After a natural disaster, it’s common for rescuers to go door-to-door looking for people and pets in need of help.
If you make it clear to rescuers that pets live inside your home—especially if, for any reason, you evacuated without them—this may ensure they receive help more quickly.
Please keep this important fact in mind! If it’s not safe for you to stay in your home, it’s not safe for your pets either. So, make every possible effort not to leave them behind.
Choose a Designated Caregiver
Having a backup plan in case of an emergency is always a good idea.
You can choose a neighbor or family member to be your pet’s designated caregiver in case something happens to you.
Ensure they have a list of your pet’s routine, food, and medications.
Know Your Pet-Friendly Evacuation Center
Not all evacuation centers accept pets. Various Apps show locations of nearby pet-friendly shelters.
Refrain from assuming that all shelters will let you bring in your pet. Know before you go!
Prepare for Possible Injuries
Unfortunately, injuries often occur to people and pets during natural disasters.
Ensure you have a well-stocked first-aid kit and identify local veterinary emergency offices in case your pet is injured and needs medical attention.
Remember that clinics will likely be overwhelmed with caring for other animals injured in the storm, so be prepared to wait.
Guide on How to Care for Your Pets During a Tropical Depression…
Storms are typically upsetting to pets. If you usually give your animals anti-anxiety medications during a routine storm, they will likely need them during a tropical depression.
Be sure to stock up on those in advance. Remember that our pets often look to us for comfort and security.
While hurricanes are stressful and chaotic, do your best to remain calm so your pet feels safe. No one ever thinks they will be caught up in a natural disaster like a hurricane.
However, planning and preparation before the storm will make things easier for you and your pet during and after the storm.