Preparing and protecting pets for hurricane season

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The 2024 hurricane season is predicted to be more hazardous than normal

Woonsen / stock.adobe.com

Woonsen / stock.adobe.com

Forecasters from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Weather Service at the Climate Prediction Center anticipate higher-than-normal hurricane activity in the Atlantic basin this year. NOAA's forecast for the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season, running from June 1 to November 30, indicates an 85% likelihood of an above-normal season, a 10% likelihood of a near-normal season, and a 5% likelihood of a below-normal season.1

The NOAA predicts a range of 17 to 25 total storms with winds of 39 mph or higher. Of those 17 storms, about 8 to 13 are forecasted to become hurricanes with winds of 74 mph or higher. The NOAA also stated there could be 4 to 7 major hurricanes with a category 3, 4, or 5 and wind speeds of 111 mph or higher. Forecasters are 70% confident with these weather predictions.1

As this potentially record-breaking hurricane season begins and National Pet Preparedness Month is in full swing, pet wellness company VetriScience is encouraging pet owners to plan ahead to keep their pets safe and minimize stress during severe storms.2 The American Red Cross recommends pet owners have a plan in place of evacuation drills and safe places to go during natural disasters.3 For livestock, the American Red Cross advises farmers to create a map of escape passages and routes for animals to go if needed and be aware of all necessary supplies.3

"Pets are part of the family, so it's critical to include them in your hurricane preparedness plans," said Elizabeth DeLomba, DVM, MBA, senior veterinary services consultant at VetriScience, a news release.2 "Having the right supplies and identifying safe shelters ahead of time can make a huge difference for your pets' well-being during a hurricane."

A pet emergency kit can be a great resource in natural disaster planning. VetriScience recommends having a sturdy pet carrier (if applicable for your pet), a 2-week supply of food, water, medications, copies of vaccination records, photos to help identify your pets, and familiar toys or bedding to reduce stress.2 VetriScience offers a supplement designed to alleviate anxiety and stress for pets. The American Red Cross also stated that having a first aid kit handy can be useful in everyday life and emergencies.3

VetriScience also advises owners to ensure pets have proper microchips or identification tags in case they ever get lost during an emergency. The pet company reminded owners that some public shelters do not allow companion pets and it is important to know which local shelters will take in people with pets.

"With some simple preparations, you can dramatically increase your pets' safety during hurricanes," DeLomba added. "Don't wait until a storm is bearing down—make your pet preparedness plans today."2

References

  1. NOAA predicts above-normal 2024 Atlantic hurricane season. News release. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. May 23, 2024. Accessed June 14, 2024. https://www.noaa.gov/news-release/noaa-predicts-above-normal-2024-atlantic-hurricane-season
  2. Protect your pets during potential record-breaking hurricane season: VetriScience shares tips for pet owners. News release. VetriScience. June 13, 2024. Accessed June 14, 2024. https://prnmedia.prnewswire.com/news-releases/protect-your-pets-during-potential-record-breaking-hurricane-season-vetriscience-shares-tips-for-pet-owners-302172216.html
  3. Pet Preparedness Month: Make your pets, livestock part of your emergency plans. American Red Cross. June 6, 2023. Accessed June 14, 2024. https://www.redcross.org/about-us/news-and-events/news/pet-preparedness-month-include-your-pets-in-emergency-plans.html
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