Hey Cats n Dogs, Buddy here – and June 1 is here. That means…
I’m getting myself prepared for Hurricane Season. It’s the type of disaster we typically might experience here in Florida over the next 6 months.
If you’re up North, your disaster might be different – but you might still need to be prepared to Go-Go-Go.
How to put together your ‘Go Bag’
I always do this in early June: I make myself a “Go Bag” – It’s actually an old duffle bag that I didn’t chew up. I put in lots of stuff. Paperwork (in a ziplock freezer bag) is most important to pack right now.
Then, I also have a list of things that need to be done just before we have to Go-Go-Go. It takes about 5 minutes to go through my checklist and be ready to hop in the car. Having a list reduces my stress. If you don’t have a list, start with mine below, then make it yours – you can use it every year!
Here’s my paperwork list:
- I help my Human by making a list of cat & dog friendly hotels. We usually go north towards Atlanta, so it’s fairly easy to find them. Here’s a link to get you started: Find pet friendly hotels
- If you have health issues, find out the name of a vet or animal hospital in the area where you might go.
- Sheltering here: Not all shelters in our Charlotte, Sarasota, DeSoto area allow pets. Here are the few that do: Charlotte County site (all 3 allow pets), DeSoto County (none available), Sarasota/North Port shelters. Reserve your family spot early, these places fill up fast as a storm gets closer. Here are the Charlotte County shelter rules: https://www.charlottecountyfl.gov/services/emergencymgmt/Site Documents/Are-You-Ready-Pet-Shelter-Trifold.pdf
- Is your microchip up to date? Mine now includes contact info for my Mom’s sister who lives up North, just in case of…… well, I don’t want to think about THAT!
- You MUST pack a copy of your shot records, any medical records and ownership document. A vet or boarding place that doesn’t know you cannot help you without these. Ask your vet here to give you what you need. Mom, do I have an ownership document?
- Print and pack a few pictures of you and your Humans together, in case you get separated. Label them with your names and put down your dog or cat breed, sex, age, color and any special markings.
- And don’t forget a list of phone numbers for your friends! If your Human lets you text, you can “chat” with each other while traveling. That can help you stay calm too.
Other good stuff you should pack now in your Go Bag:
WATER: You will need about 3 days of water. How much? Figure that you will drink ½ to 1 oz of water per your weight in pounds. I’m 42 pounds, so I should drink about 21-42 oz each day. My Human stocks up on the 16oz water bottles, so I set aside 6 bottles for me. By the way, after a storm, Don’t play in or drink puddles, you can get sick.
FOOD: A 3-day supply – zip it into a freezer bag or airtight plastic container. Honestly, I don’t pack this until it’s needed. I don’t like stale kibble. Canned foods are a good option if you want to pack in preparation. Come into the store – we have some great canned foods. They would make bugging-out a pleasant experience. And if not used during hurricane season – you have a holiday feast in Nov/Dec!
Pack a BOWL you can use for water and food, especially if you have to travel. And while we’re talking hardware, be sure to pack a manual can opener if the cans of food require this! You cannot chew through a metal can.
If you like to chew, you might talk your human into purchasing a new elk horn or bully stick. Come in and peruse our store, we have lots of toys to choose from. These you could pack into a Ziplock bag now, and if not needed this summer – you guessed it – a nice holiday treat!
FIRST AID STUFF: Your Humans may pack these items for themselves, so you might not need to. But make sure you have your heartworm meds with you. I buy an extra 6-pack that goes in my bag. A fresh Soresto collar is a good idea too. They can (and should) be used next winter if you don’t need them this summer.
A pet first aid book is a good idea for you and your Human.
Pack an additional HALTER AND LEASH. Put an ID tag on the extra collar. We can make you one in the Cats n Dogs store! If your regular collar has your rabies and city tag on it, BE SURE it’s on your last-minute packing list.
Pack a roll of paper towels and poopoo bags, a couple trash bags and a sanitizer cleanup liquid. That’s my “oopsie” kit.
FOR OUR FELINE FRIENDS, you might wish to pre-pack a bag of litter and a travel litterbox. I hear disposable roasting pans work.
Some Items we have ready for you in our Cats n Dogs pet supply store:
- Calming remedies (herbal, CBD treats and oils)
- Cat carriers
- Small dog carriers
- Pee pads
- Interactive toys
- Cuddly and chewy toys
- Freeze-dried treats and foods if you are on a raw diet
A Little Story
Max, our editor, said that when he and his family evacuated for Hurr. Irma, he packed his stuffed squeaky turtle and stuffed Kermit. Kermit is a favorite because it came from his old dog-cousin Levi, who shared it with him before he went over the rainbow bridge. Max’s squeaky turtle has a story too – his mom gave him one, but his youngest human-cousin came to visit and fell in love with it. He gave it to her and got another one for himself.
Here is my last-minute checklist of things I want to grab before we have to Go-Go-Go. It’s things I use every day, so I don’t want to pack them away in my bag. But, this list goes in my bag, right on the top, so I can find it quickly.
- Dry kibble food, if you didn’t pack canned
- Everyday collar that has the rabies tag on it
- Do you have a “daybed”? I do at the store. It also works well in the car and hotel rooms. And it smells good, like me and my BFF Taylor.
- If you go to a shelter, you will need a crate that you are comfortable being in. Put your name and your family’s name/contact info on it! You will be in the same building as they are, but not necessarily WITH them.
- Car ride: I have a harness that is a seat belt for the car. A car ride to evacuate Florida can be scary. Best to be “buckled in.”
- You might want your special blanket, and a couple of your best toys to make you feel less scared.
If it can be helped, don’t stay home if your Humans leave! If you must stay home when they go, ask some friends to check on you, and DON’T stay outdoors. Find yourself a nice hide-y spot in a closet or bathroom. I’ve heard that a hurricane is very noisy and scary sounding. You may want your favorite blanket.
And last but not least………. Remember to take your Go Bag with you when the time comes! It would be a terrible thing to forget!
My buddy said his Human threw a stick five miles – and he managed to find it and brought it back.
Seems a little far fetched.
Lots of Newsy News in our monthly newsletter – does your Human want to receive specials and notices by Email? Sign up below.
Our promise to you: we never sell or give away your contact info. Your privacy is important to us! You can expect to receive a news blast about once a month, that’s all.