Orange County Animal Services Reminds Families to Include Pets in Hurricane Prep Plans
While the Orange County Office of Emergency Management is closely monitoring the track of Hurricane Matthew, Orange County Animal Services is urging residents to include pets in their disaster plans
“We often find that residents simply do not think that a storm will impact them, and therefore do not have a disaster plan, or do not include their pets in those plans. But the best way a family can protect themselves, along with their four-legged friends is to be prepared. We are asking that everyone please don’t forget their furry friends in emergency disaster plans,” says Dil Luther, Orange County Animal Services Division Manager. It is vital that in the event of an emergency, families and their pets know where they will go, what they need to bring for their four-legged family members, as well as have a two-week supply of food for their pets.”
Although Orange County is NOT under evacuation orders, residents are encouraged to be prepared for Hurricane Matthew.
- Ensure pet vaccinations are current.
- Consider microchipping pets if not already done so to ensure you can find pets in the event you are separated.
- Have a copy of your pet’s medical records, which should be included in your “Pet Disaster Kit.”
- Arrange for a safe place to stay that permits pets.
- Research places that are pet friendly. (Note - animals are not allowed in Red Cross Shelters, except for service animals, so you may want to stay with a friend or relative, or motel/hotel that is pet friendly.)
- If possible, PLEASE do not leave pets behind during an evacuation or emergency.
- With pending serious weather, bring all households pets inside.
Pet Disaster Kit
- A list, including phone numbers of pet-friendly places.
- A pet carrier for each pet, in which the animal can stand and turn around. Write your name, address and phone number and include additional contact information for someone outside the area.
- Pet Health Record in a waterproof container (each pet should display a current rabies tag at all times).
- Current picture of your pet in a waterproof container and an extra identification tag.
- Collar and leash for dogs, and an adjustable collar for cats.
- Two-week supply of pet food, water, bowls, cat litter/box and any necessary medications.
- Plastic bags to hold contents such as pet treats and small toys.
- Newspapers, plastic bags, cleaner and disinfectants to handle pet waste.
- A cotton sheet to cover the carrier to keep the pet calm.
- Pet First-Aid Kit: Ask your veterinarian for the supplies appropriate for your pet.
For more information on how to prepare your pet for a disaster, contact your veterinarian; call Orange County Animal Services at (407) 254-9140 or visit www.ocnetpets.com/preparedpet.