Step 1. Make provision for your pets in case of an emergency evacuation
If you have to evacuate your home, you should always take your pets with you. It might seem safer to leave them in the house in a 'safe' location with plenty of food and water, but it really isn't. You won't be there to monitor conditions, and your safe area could become dangerous as the weather changes. Your pet will become very stressed at being 'abandoned' and take extreme measures to escape.
Give some thought as to how to evacuate your pets when you aren't or can't get home: try and identify a neighbour or pet-sitter who could move your pets for you, and make them familiar with your disaster plan.
Many emergency shelters cannot take domestic pets, so it is important to identify somewhere you can take your pet in an emergency. Possibilities are:
PetPlanet.co.uk has extensive databases of pet-friendly hotels and kennels in the 'Your Territory' section, so make that your first stop in making your disaster plan.
Step 2. Prepare an emergency disaster kit
If you have to evacuate your pet, keeping a travel bag full of essential supplies will help you act quickly, and reduce stress for your pet. You should include the following:
Make sure your pet has plenty of identification attached to it's collar or carrier, including an emergency contact number for you. And, if you haven't microchipped your pet, today is a good time to get it done. It really can make all the difference if your pet escapes or gets lost.
Step 3. Use advance warnings to be prepared
While no one could predict the severity of yesterday's floods and gales, weather forecasters certainly predicted that a bad storm was on its way, and could accurately predict when it would hit. Advance warning like this gives you time to put your plan into action before it becomes an emergency:
Finally, even if you can shelter your pets in your own home, remember that severe weather and the interruptions caused by it can be very stressful for your pet. The most good-natured or obedient pet may turn aggressive or behave in unpredictable ways. Never leave your pet unattended outside your home, even for a few minutes. And if you must take them out, make sure they are secure on a leash or in a carrier - they will feel more secure too.