May 2, 2014

Storm Safety Planning for You and Your Pets

Author: Gail Brasie

When Is The Weather Too Much For Your Pet’s To Handle? Think Storm Safety!

Chicagoland gets a lot of storms each spring stretching from our North West service area of Bloomingdale all the way to our South East service point of Willow Springs, and the severity of these has been increasing. It is vital to include your pets in your storm safety plans, so here are a few ideas to get you on your way.

Our dog walkers and pet sitters have experienced a lot of storms lately, with at least one major storm per summer for the past few years, complete with power outages and property damage. Several suburbs have flooded, and we have seen some residents lose power. Naturally you will want to include your pets in your storm safety plans.

During a violent windy thunderstorm, get to the basement, and bring your Floofins with you. If the power goes out and you’re using candles to light the space, make sure your fluffy ones don’t have access to the open flames. If it’s extremely hot and the AC is out, we recommend taking your pet somewhere that does have AC, including a friend’s or relative’s house–last year I took my Shiba Inu to my church to cool off–whatever works!

If it floods, and especially if your sewer backs up and the water coming into your house is, well… nasty, make certain your dogs, cats, guinea pigs, etc., do not go near it/drink it/even look at it. Once the water is gone you will need to have someone come in and disinfect everything that the sewer water touched. If it cannot be salvaged, it needs to be discarded.

In the mid-west, there’s always a chance your house could be leveled by a tornado, so if you have to evacuate, take your animals with you–if you leave them behind they might not weather the storm. You might need to stay at a hotel in case of damages to your home. Not all hotels or motels allow pets, which might make things more complicated, but take the time to find ones that do. You could actually do this step in advance, and keep the list in your go-bag.

Here are a few more tips to keep in mind if you need to leave your house:

  • Have the pet’s I.D. tags on them in case you all get separated, even if they’re microchipped.
  • Have a go-bag packed beforehand, and include pet stuff such as leashes, harnesses, water dishes, and dry food. (The food needs to be rotated out and used every few months or it will expire and not be any good when you need it.)
  • If you can, take a crate or carrier for your pet for added security and ease of transport.

There is a lot to think about when it comes to storm safety, and it can be a stressful thing to contemplate. There are a lot of resources online to help you prepare. For instance, the Humane Society has a checklist of things you’ll need in your plan, and so does the ASPCA.

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