Caring for Pets During a Hurricane: Essential Tips for Texas Forest Country Residents

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As hurricane season approaches, it’s crucial not only to prepare your home and family but also to ensure the safety and well-being of your pets. Pets are part of the family, and their needs must be considered in your hurricane preparedness plan. Here are some essential tips on preparing your pets for a hurricane, including assembling a pet-friendly emergency kit and identifying pet-friendly shelters in the Texas Forest Country region.

Preparing Your Pet for a Hurricane

1. Assemble a Pet Emergency Kit Just like humans, pets need an emergency kit that contains all the essentials they might need during a hurricane. Here’s what to include:

  • Food and Water: At least three days’ worth of food and water. Use airtight containers to keep food fresh and dry.
  • Medications and Medical Records: Ensure you have a supply of your pet’s medications, along with copies of medical records, including vaccination records.
  • Collar with ID Tag, Harness, and Leash: Your pet should wear a collar with an ID tag at all times. Include a harness and leash in your kit for easy handling.
  • Crate or Pet Carrier: A sturdy, comfortable crate or carrier for each pet. Ensure it’s large enough for your pet to stand, turn around, and lie down.
  • Sanitation Supplies: Include litter and a litter box (for cats), plastic bags, paper towels, and pet-safe disinfectant.
  • Comfort Items: Familiar items like blankets, toys, or bedding can help reduce stress.
  • First Aid Kit: Basic first aid supplies tailored for pets, including bandages, antiseptic wipes, and any necessary pet-specific medications.
  • Photo of You and Your Pet: A current photo of you and your pet together in case you get separated.

2. Create a Pet Evacuation Plan

  • Pet-Friendly Shelters and Accommodations: Identify local pet-friendly shelters and accommodations in advance. The Texas Forest Country region has several resources that can assist:
    • The Winnie Berry Humane Society of Angelina County: Offers guidance on local shelters and can assist in emergency situations.
    • Nacogdoches Animal Services: Provides information on pet-friendly shelters and emergency boarding.
    • Local Veterinary Clinics: Many local vets offer emergency boarding services. Check with your vet for recommendations.
  • Pet-Friendly Hotels: Have a list of pet-friendly hotels along your evacuation route. Websites like BringFido.com can help you find accommodations.

3. Microchip and ID Your Pet Ensure your pet is microchipped and wears a collar with up-to-date identification. This greatly increases the chances of being reunited if you get separated. Keep a record of the microchip number in your emergency kit.

4. Stay Informed and Prepared

  • Monitor Weather Alerts: Keep an eye on weather forecasts and be aware of evacuation orders. Pets often sense changes in weather and may become anxious, so maintaining a calm demeanor is important.
  • Practice Evacuation Drills: Conduct evacuation drills with your pets to familiarize them with the process. This reduces stress and confusion during an actual emergency.

Finding Pet-Friendly Shelters

In the Texas Forest Country region, several shelters and organizations can assist during a hurricane:

  • The Winnie Berry Humane Society of Angelina County: Provides resources and support for pet owners during emergencies. Contact them at (936) 639-1880 or visit their website.
  • Nacogdoches Animal Services: Offers information on pet-friendly shelters and emergency boarding. Contact them at (936) 560-5011 or visit their website.
  • Local Veterinary Clinics: Many clinics provide emergency boarding services. Check with your vet for options in your area.

Additionally, many local community centers and churches open their doors to pets and their owners during hurricanes. Stay connected with local news and community bulletins for the latest information on available shelters.

Preparing for a hurricane involves ensuring the safety and well-being of all family members, including pets. By assembling a pet emergency kit, creating an evacuation plan, and knowing where to find pet-friendly shelters, you can protect your furry friends during a storm. For more detailed information and resources, visit the Humane Society of Angelina County and Nacogdoches Animal Services.

Remember, being prepared is the best way to keep your pets safe during hurricane season. Stay informed, stay prepared, and stay safe.

Lee Miller
Lee Miller was born in Denison, TX and grew up in East Texas with his family. He studied music education at Stephen F. Austin State University taking a job in television on his last day of student teaching. Lee also provides business authoritative expertise to the broadcast industry as a consultant. Presently he is CEO of MSG Resources LLC, which specializes in consulting within broadcast best practices, distribution technologies and media strategy mastery. - - - - - Lee Miller is a well-known veteran of the broadcast media industry with particular experience in leading for-profit and non-profit broadcasting organizations. His career began in Lufkin, Texas in the early 80’s where he progressed from studio operations to creative services and network management. Mr. Miller has since received various professional designations and memberships such as Society of Broadcast Engineers accredited frequency coordinator, The Energy Professionals Association Certified Energy Consultant, and National Religious Broadcasters Television Committee & past Chair. Lee also serves as the Executive Director of the Advanced Television Broadcasting Alliance, is a member of the Advanced Television Systems Committee and is proud to be part of Texas Association of Broadcasters Golden Mic Club, highlighting extraordinary careers in broadcasting. Continued engagement with his community is at the core of his business practices serving on the board of the Salvation Army and as keyboardist for the contemporary worship band at Harmony Hill Baptist Church. Lee lives near Lufkin Texas on one of his family’s tree farms located in the Texas Forest Country region north of Houston. He is married to Kenla and has two grown children, Joshua, COO of MSGPR Ltd Co and Morgan, a Critical Care ICU RN.

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