Just because Tropical Storm Emily didn’t bother us, hurricane plans are still necessary.
To my knowledge, not a drop of rain, or even wind gusts, could be attributed to Tropical Storm Emily on Monday. However, it is still important not to become complacent about hurricanes. As Matthew taught us last October, being ready is just smart.
Hurricane Matthew was the first storm a Flagler County school was used as a pets and people shelter, and from what I have heard from those who stayed, and those who volunteered, everything went fairly smoothly.
School shelters should be your last choice. When possible, book a room or, do as we did, and descend on unsuspecting
relatives out of harm’s way. My sister Kim who lives on the West coast of Florida told us, and I quote, “You’re welcome here as long as you need.”
I mentioned the two dogs, one cat and an African Grey and yet she was not deterred. Not sure her dog Kai felt the same, but everyone seemed to understand it was important to get along. Don’t tell the boss, but that was THE BEST hurricane we have ever been through. We had a ball.
Now is the time to double check your pet evacuation supplies, their tags and to have an idea of where you might go. Hotels are supposed lift their “no pet” policies during disasters but that doesn’t mean they won’t charge a fee, and they are going to require crates for each animal, and leashes for dogs.
You may also be asked to show proof of vaccinations, especially rabies. The tag your vet gives you doesn’t count. Take the paper the tag was taped to that shows the date and vaccinations given.
Daily supplies vary from pet to pet. Just like your evacuation bags, theirs should include the items they need on a day-to-day basis, including, litter, medicines, special food, etc.
If you are not in an evacuation zone, unless it’s a storm coming from the ocean, stay home. As they say there’s no place like home, even if there’s no power.
When a school shelter is your only option, pack smart. Space is limited. There were 150 animals sheltered, including many birds, during Matthew. Plan now to make sure that they, and you, can ride out the storm with as much planning and as little stress as possible.