Pet Owner Hurricane Preparedness Guide

The Burg is one of the most pet-friendly cities in the country. Part of loving your pet is making sure you’re prepared to protect them regardless of the circumstance. With Hurricane Season fast approaching, it begins on June 1, we thought it pertinent to go over some basic safety tips to ensure your family, four-legged and feathered members included, are ready, just in case a big storm rolls through.

First and foremost, you need to know your evacuation zone. The city government has a comprehensive guide for local residents to stay informed online. Pinellas County has also curated a detailed emergency guide for all types of weather and warnings that you can view on their website.

The city just launched a new mobile alert system for residents, too. You can signup for the service by clicking here.


*Photo via Survival Blueprint

Prepare a basic pet disaster kit 

A pet disaster kit is vital if your family needs to be evacuated. The kit should include food and water for at least five days. Make sure to have a manual can opener, as well, and an extra gallon of water in case your pet is exposed to any hazardous chemicals and needs to be rinsed.

Make sure all medical records and necessary medications are on hand in a waterproof bag/container. It’s wise to also carry an excess of garbage bags to clean up after your pet. For cats, have litter, a litter box and scooper with you.

Harnesses and sturdy leashes are vital, as well as proper carrying crates to transport your pets in. Due to the fact that your pet may be in a crate for hours at a time, it’s best make sure the crate is outfitted with a comfortable blanket and plenty of toys. Ensure that your pet’s identification is up to date on their collar and list out feeding schedules and proper care instructions in case they need to be boarded or placed in foster care.


*Photo via 

Alert stickers help keep rescue workers informed

Let rescue workers know that you have animals with a pet alert sticker. The sticker should include the number and types of pets in your home and the number of your veterinarian. You should also have a safe haven planned for your pet well in advance.

Your local veterinarian should have a handy list of preferred facilities for you to browse through. It’s also helpful to identify hotels/motels outside of your city that accept pets.


Microchip your pets and enroll in a recovery database

It’s always best to prepare for the worst. Technological innovations have allowed for the quick and efficient return of lost pets to their loving home. Microchipping your pet is paramount to their overall security — and It’s benefits can be seen beyond hurricane season.

The Humane Society estimates that nearly 10 million cats and dogs are lost each year. Only 22% of dogs, and less than 2% of cats that wind up in shelters are reunited with their family. A pet microchip and enrolling in a pet recovery database are easy and affordable steps to making sure you never have to worry — 96% of pets with a microchip are returned to their families.

For details about microchipping your pet, call Bayshore Animal Hospital and Avian Services: (727) 381-3900. You can also schedule an appointment with Bayshore online. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram for updates on services and specials. 

Written by Andrew Harlan

Andrew Harlan is in his third year as Writer/Editor of New York Times bestselling author Andre Dubus III has said of him, “Andrew Harlan has a sharp and discerning eye for detail that deftly captures character and landscape." He has published fiction and poetry in Sabal and Prime Number Literary Magazine. He graduated with honors from Eckerd College in 2013 with a B.A. in Creative Writing and a minor in Literature. He can be reached by phone: (727) 896-3435 or email: