Working full-time as the head of marketing for an insurance agency, I am constantly reminding people how to prepare for severe weather, creating disaster plans, etc.
But seeing this feature story on Accuweather about how animal shelters are filling to capacity following the spat of severe weather the nation has been experiencing made me realize that people also need to be reminded to include their pets in their disaster plans.
Your pet is a member of your family. Please do not leave them behind should severe weather strike your community. Instead, plan ahead of time.
Always make sure that your pet has some form of identification on them -- whether it be in the form of a collar with a traditional name tag (always include an updated phone number) or a microchip. Personally I would rather be safe than sorry and would have both! Should something happen to your pet's collar, you have peace of mind that your pet is still identifiable by the microchip that any shelter or veterinarian should be able to scan.
Severe weather is almost always reported prior to its arrival. Talk with friends or family member who live at least 25 miles away from your community (since their home may not be affected by a storm that hits your home) and discuss possibilities for watching your pets while you sort out the details of damage done to your home, etc.
Evacuation orders are possible in times of dangerous weather. Prepare ahead of time by knowing an animal-friendly home, hotel or shelter that you can travel to. Your pet is a living, breathing thing and does not belong left behind.
As you can see in this Accuweather video, animal shelters quickly become overwhelmed with animals following severe storms. This puts a strain on staff, resources, and of course, the animals. Not to mention, your animal could end up in a kill shelter! And if that happens and you do not locate your pet quickly enough, how will you live with that guilt?
Prepare you and your family before severe weather hits.