Well, it’s official: there’s a hurricane heading our Way in the Gulf. As we all play the waiting game until we find out Hurricane Laura’s final trajectory, remember that it’s not just us humans that this storm will affect. Whether you plan to ride the storm out at home or are evacuating to a shelter, here’re six tips to make sure your furry friends are ready for any weather. And be sure to check out Friends For Life’s disaster preparation resources for more suggestions.

Build a Disaster Kit

We all know what we need in case of an emergency, but did you know you should have a disaster kit ready for your pet too? The Humane Society thinks so. In addition to food and water (enough for at least five days), make sure your pet kit includes your furry friend’s medical records, leashes/harnesses, a litter box (as well as litter scoop and garbage bags), and basic first aid supplies. If your pet has a lovie or stuffed animal they're especially fond of, it never hurts to throw that favorite toy in there too.

It’s also a good idea to write down your pets’ feeding schedules and medical or behavioral issues, as well as the name and contact information of their vet, just in case.

For a more complete guide, check out Friends For Life’s dog and cat checklists.

Buy a Pet Carrier

It’s no fun trying to haul a cranky cat through the pouring rain, so do yourself a favor and make sure you’ve got a pet carrier. Carriers are required by many pet shelters anyway, and they double as a safe, familiar space for a nervous animal inside your home too. Be sure to label your carrier with your pet’s name, current address, and pertinent medical conditions, as well as your contact information. 

Identification

Make sure your pet wears a collar or harness with an I.D. tag that has your most up-to-date information on it. Also, consider microchipping your pet, which can help make sure you and your furry soul mate are reunited if that collar comes off during a disaster.

Know Your Pet-Friendly Places

Many pet owners get turned away from shelters because they’ve brought their pets with them. So, check your shelters to know where to take your pet (or even better, where you both can hunker down together) before the storm hits.

You can also search for pet-friendly lodgings on PetTravelCenter.com, PetFriendlyHotels.com, or PetsWelcome.com.

Keep those Pet Pics Close

We know it’s a pet parent’s worst nightmare, but if you and your furry friend do get separated, have a few of those many photos you’ve snapped with your smart phone on hand. Make sure a few of those snaps have you in them, too, in case you need proof of ownership.