San Diego Humane Society Urges Pet Owners to Prepare for Storm
Updated: August 21, 2023 at 2:37 p.m.
Due to the severe weather expected across our region in the coming days, San Diego Humane Society is urging pet and livestock owners to be prepared. With heavy rain and wind expected, animals need to be kept dry and safe from the elements. In case severe weather leads to flooding, power outages and damage, it is essential to have an evacuation plan for all animals — big and small.
San Diego Humane Society recommends the following actions:
- Ensure your animals can stay dry. Pets should be kept inside and livestock should have a safe place to get cover from the wind and rain.
- Provide clean water and safe food. Ensure your animals have access to clean water and their food is protected from damage and contamination by wind, rain and debris.
- Prepare an emergency kit. Put all of your daily pet supplies in a water-proof container. Gather a two-week supply of food, water and your pet’s medications. Don’t forget shot records, bowls, crates, bedding and toys. Keeping your pet comfortable will reduce stress during an evacuation.
- Practice transporting your pet. Locate your pet’s carriers early, especially if they have been stored in a garage, and make sure your pet is comfortable using it. Identify where your pet hides when they are stressed and scared, in case you have to go looking for them.
- Plan for large animals. If you have large animals/livestock, have trailers or travel containers available for all of them. Create a plan for loading and unloading, and practice if possible. Work with neighbors to identify locations where large animals can be brought to on foot. In the event of an emergency evacuation, you may not have time or space to move all of your large animals, and people will not be allowed to re-enter mandatory evacuation areas even for your own animals.
- Use identification. Make sure your pets are wearing identification at all times. This includes animals who don’t normally go outside. If you don’t have tags, simply write your phone number on their collar using permanent marker. Having your pet microchipped can also help identify them if they become lost. Make sure you keep your address and phone number up to date, in addition to listing an emergency contact outside of your immediate area.
- Plan ahead. Not all evacuation shelters accept pets, so it’s important to prepare. County information sources such as ReadySanDiego.org and ListoSanDiego.org (Spanish) can help. Research hotels outside your area for pet policies and ask friends or family if you and your pets can stay with them in case of disaster.
- Leave early and take your pets. If you are evacuating your home, take your pets with you. Pets cannot fend for themselves during disasters and leaving them behind can risk both their lives and those of rescuers. Leave early and don’t wait for mandatory evacuation orders.
- Check your fence lines. Ensure fencing and gates haven’t been damaged by flooding and rain, potentially leading to escape routes for pets.
For animal emergencies in San Diego Humane Society’s jurisdiction, contact San Diego Humane Society’s Humane Law Enforcement at 619-299-7012 (press 1). To contact the San Diego County Department of Animal Services, call 619-236-2341.
Please monitor National Hurricane Center forecasts for additional real-time updates on the current storm.
Published: August 18, 2023