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June 18, 2024

Tips for Pet Owners as Hurricane Season Nears

Nonprofit Veterinary Clinic Shares Do’s and Don’ts of Storm Readiness  

ORANGE PARK, Fla. — (June 17, 2024) — Clay Humane, a nonprofit veterinary clinic in Orange Park, is encouraging pet parents to prepare for the 2024 hurricane season on the First Coast.

The Atlantic hurricane season officially begins June 1 and runs through November 30. An early forecast by Tropical Storm Risk (TSR) predicts 20 tropical storms, nine hurricanes and four intense hurricanes due to La Niña and warm waters throughout the Atlantic basin. It’s not uncommon for tropical systems to hit the warm waters before June 1, so early preparation is essential.

To get ahead of what’s predicted to be a busy hurricane season, Clay Humane is recommending animal owners the following do’s and don’ts of storm readiness:

Do’s:

Create a Disaster Kit: Don’t wait until a storm is approaching and store shelves are bare. Prepare a pet kit that includes:

  • Four-day supply of bottled water
  • Four-day supply of pet food and medications
  • Food and water bowls
  • Animal first-aid kit
  • Litter and/or disposable bags for pet waste
  • Extra collars, leashes and harnesses
  • Photos of your pet in case you become separated
  • Copies of pet medical records (especially rabies and other vaccination history)
  • Animal-specific supplies, such as a spray bottle with water for birds, appropriate strong bowls for reptiles and bedding for hamsters and other small pets

Be Ready to Travel: Make sure you have an appropriate-size carrier for your pet that includes ample room. Label the carrier with your pet’s name and your contact info. For birds, don’t forget the perch, paper towels and a timed feeder.  

Identify Pet-Friendly Shelters: Not all shelters accept pets, and the ones that do may have limitations on which animals they allow. Use the following links to learn more about pet-friendly shelters before a storm is on its way:

Ensure Pet Tags and Microchips Are Current: Pets often run away or get separated from their owners during disasters. Make sure your pet always wears identification tags with your current contact information, especially your phone number. If your pet has a microchip (which is recommended), confirm the company the chip is registered with has your current information so any vet can scan the chip and contact you if someone finds your pet.

Memorize Evacuation Routes: Should you need to evacuate or can’t find a pet-friendly shelter nearby, know the appropriate path to get out of harm’s way. Know the evacuation route without relying on GPS, which may prove unreliable when needed.

Don’ts:

  • Don’t Leave Pets Outside: It isn’t safe to leave pets outside during a storm. Be sure to bring your pet indoors to a safe place with clean, fresh water to avoid overheating.
  • Don’t Leave Pets Behind: If you evacuate, be sure to take your animals with you. Never leave them at home to fend for themselves during a natural disaster, which increases the risk of them being injured or lost.
  • Don’t Put Off Preparing for a Storm: These tips are easy to implement ahead of time to ensure you aren’t scrambling for crucial pet supplies when the shelves are bare.

“People typically wait until the last minute to prepare for approaching hurricanes,” states Dr. Christian Broadhurst, senior staff veterinarian at Clay Humane. “This leaves pet owners at risk of not finding essential pet supplies or being equipped to evacuate and find pet-friendly shelters. Following these do’s and don’ts can set pet owners and their animals up for a safer hurricane season.”

Media Contact:

Michelle Gilliam
Point Taken Communications
904.485.6597
mgilliam@pointtakenpr.com

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