December 17, 2021

We often hear of families moving to North Carolina from out of state and enjoying the full range of seasons without any one season being too extreme. Our Northerners love that we have a more mild winter, and those who have migrated from Florida and the Deep South enjoy a more mild summer. Families from the West Coast enjoy experiencing seasons like Fall and Winter for the very first time. North Carolina’s full range of mild weather is certainly a perk of living in this beautiful state, but keep in mind that this also leaves us susceptible to some of nature’s more powerful forces, such as hurricanes and tornadoes.

In 2018, many of us scrambled to prepare as two of the year’s strongest hurricanes headed straight for our state. As we head into another “hurricane season”, now is a great time to check your emergency plan and be sure you are prepared for a natural disaster.

Do you have a pet preparedness kit ready? Make sure you stock your kit with the following items:

1. Strong leashes, collars (with tags), harnesses, and/or pet carriers to ensure your pet cannot run away should they become frightened.

2. Food for at least 3 days stored in an airtight container. (Tip: if your pet eats canned food, don’t forget to include a manual can opener in your kit)

3. Three day supply of water allocated specifically for your pet(s).

4. Medications and medical records stored in a plastic bag to protect from water damage.

5. Pet First Aid Kit

6. A current photo of you and your pet to identify your pet if you get separated and verify that you are the owner.

7. Written information about your pet’s feeding schedule, administering medication, behavioral comments, and your pet’s veterinarian contact information in case you need to board your pet or place them in foster care.

Other useful tips:

- Talk to your veterinarian about microchipping your pet. We have seen the successful reunion of pets to their owners many times thanks to microchipping. If your pet is already microchipped, take the time to verify that your contact information is up to date and correct.

- Due to health reasons, many shelters are unable to house pets in case of an emergency. Identify pet-friendly hotels along your evacuation route in advance to prepare for an evacuation. Keep this list in your pet’s disaster kit.

- Store your pet preparedness kit in a water-safe, sturdy container and place it in an accessible place.

We can’t control natural disasters, but we can be prepped and ready should one come our way. “There’s no harm in hoping for the best as long as we’re prepared for the worst.” Stephen King