Riding out the hurricane: Tips to keep your pets safe


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While you hunker down to ride out Hurricane Sandy, it’s important to keep in mind that there are family members who don’t understand what’s happening: your pets. And while you can’t explain the hurricane to your furry friends, there are things you can do to keep them safe and sound.

The American Humane Association prepared a number of emergency tips:


Before the storm

  • Tie down outside objects that could get caught in the wind.
  • Bring all pets indoors, including your outdoor animals. Put them in a carrier large enough to turn around and lie down comfortably.
  • Review your evacuation plan and check emergency supplies, bowls, water and food.
  • Have a carrier ready in case you need to evacuate.


During the storm (if you cannot evacuate)

  • Choose a safe room — an interior room without windows — to stay in, and keep your emergency kit in that room.
  • Stay with your pets.
  • Know your pet's hiding places. That's where they may run; keep them with you.
  • Secure exits and cat doors so pets can't escape.
  • Do not tranquilize your pets, so their survival instincts are in tact.


After the storm

  • Don’t go outside until you are sure the storm has passed.
  • Assess outdoor damage before allowing your children and pets out.
  • Keep dogs on a leash and cats in a carrier.
  • Give pets time to become re-oriented. Familiar scents and landmarks may be altered.
  • Be sensitive to changes in your pets’ behavior after the hurricane. After a crisis, they may become aggressive or self-protective. Comfort them with kind words and lots of pats or hugs.


In addition, the American Humane Association has its Red Star Animal Emergency Services team ready with the support of Mars Petcare US to help animals that may need rescue or shelter from the hurricane.

The Red Star Rescue teams will be at its staging area in eastern Pennsylvania, in preparation for emergency rescue work throughout the region. The 82-ft. truck and its convoy of chase vehicles carry rescue boats, a hoist, food and medical supplies, snap-together kennels for extending or creating animal shelters, food bowls and other items to keep animals safe and cared for. Mars Petcare US has provided a grant to help the emergency deployment and is providing emergency food and supplies.