SOUTH FLORIDA – The approach of hurricane season is upon us. Now is the time to check batteries, buy extra canned goods and bottled water and dig out the hurricane shutters. However, perhaps even more important, is putting in place a Home Emergency Preparedness Plan that includes four-legged members of the family as well as those of the two-legged variety.
“The hurricane season brings a lot of stress for pets and pet owners alike,” said Master Dog Trainer McKinley Edwards, who owns Dog Guard Out of Sight Dog Fences. “Sometimes people get caught up in the chaos of the storm and forget to make preparations for their pets.”
Even though it has been several seasons since South Florida was hit by a major hurricane, it’s more important than ever not to become complacent. More than 600,000 pets were lost when Hurricane Katrina hit. Over 6,000,000 people were without power for up to three weeks in the aftermath of Hurricane Wilma. Hurricane Rita caused more than 3,700,000 people to evacuate their homes and neighborhoods.
There are three steps pet owners need to take to ensure their pets will remain safe during a hurricane. First, add your pet’s evacuation needs to your disaster plan. Second, during the storm use appropriate and reliable methods to keep your pet calm and feeling safe. Finally, to achieve normalcy, learn ways to re-orient them to their surroundings after the hurricane has passed.
Robin Edwards has expanded on the points above. Her additional comments are available at: http://dogguardsouthflorida.com/dog-hurricane-safety.
“There are many sites and organizations offering information regarding pet safety for hurricane and natural disasters,” Edwards said. “As an owner of five dogs in South Florida, my goal is to ensure my dogs’ safety and offer advice to assist others in the same.”