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Hurricane Preparedness


Are you going out of town during hurricane season?  June 1 was the official beginning of the Hurricane season and it runs through November 30.  Are you prepared?  While many families have a strong disaster preparedness plan in place for the human members of the family, they often neglect to put in place a plan that protects their pets as well.  Doing some footwork now could very well save you the heartache of possibly having to leave your pet behind should disaster strike and may even save your pet’s life.  We’ve done some footwork for you.

Pet-Friendly Evacuation Centers in Miami-Dade County

There are two pet-friendly Evacuation Centers in Miami.  Pet owners, who reside within evacuation zones, live in unsafe structures or trailers can participate.

Darwin Fuchs Pavilion
10901 SW 24th St.
Miami, FL 33165

Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High
1410 County Line Road
Miami, FL 33179

Requirements for Admittance to the Above Pet-Friendly Evacuation Centers

  1. Pre-register by calling 786-331-5354 to request the necessary forms.  You will need to provide proof of residency within an evacuation zone;
  2. Present medical and current vaccination records for each pet;
  3. Have a visible Miami-Dade County dog license (Note: Cats are also required to have annual rabies vaccinations);
  4. Bring supplies for you and your pets (see suggested first aid kit and other essential supplies below);
  5. Limit 4 pets per household;
  6. Family member must remain at the Evacuation Center with their pets;
  7. Types of pets accepted at the evacuation centers are:  Dogs, cats, gerbils, guinea pigs, hamsters, rabbits (small-sized, under 10 pounds), ferrets, and birds.

Prepare Before the Storm.  Don’t Wait Until Disaster Strikes!

When disaster strikes, you want to be prepared to provide the best care for your pet.  So now is the time to find a safe place BEFORE you need it.  If you are planning to go out of town during the Hurricane Season here are few things that you should do.

  1. Make arrangements with a neighbor, nearby friend, or family member to take your pets to a specified location. Make sure that your pets know/are familiar with that person; that the person has a key to your home; and that they know where your disaster supplies are kept and where your pets might hide when under stress.
  2. Research pet-friendly hotels and motels located outside of your region. One good resource for this is
  3. Make a list of boarding facilities and veterinary offices that might be able to shelter animals in emergencies; place their 24-hour phone numbers both in your Smart Phone and include a copy in your glove box.
  4. Ask your local shelters if they provide foster care or shelter for pets in an emergency. This should be your last resort as shelters have limited resources and are likely to be stretched to their limits during an emergency.
  5. Have your pet(s) micro-chipped by your Vet.  And be sure to send in the paperwork ASAP so their information will be on file.  If your pet has already been micr0-chipped, make sure that the company has your most recent address on file.  Remember most shelters do not allow pets.  Make sure you have arrangements in place for your pets before you leave town, and NEVER LEAVE YOUR PET(S) BEHIND TO FEND FOR THEMSELVES!
  6. Put together a preparedness kit for your pet(s). Begin by assembling a pet first aid kit as well as other essential items. You probably have many of the items on hand at home right now:

Pet First Aid Kit

  • a leash
  • alcohol
  • self-cling bandage
  • muzzle
  • latex gloves
  • gauze
  • bandages
  • hydrogen peroxide
  • scissors
  • Benadryl
  • Blanket
  • Cold pack
  • Bulb syringe

Other Essential Items

  • Crate/kennel in which your dog can stand up in and turn around.
  • Recent photos of your pet(s) with you. This will help if you become separated from your pet to help prove the pets are yours. Maybe even prepare flyers in advance with a photo of your pet, a short description, and a phone number.
  • Print out several copies of the Pet Information Form that is included in the NAPPS ”Emergency Planning Guide for Pet Owners (link to download Guide below) that include your contact information and a complete description of your pet. These can be posted at shelters or central locations if you and your pet are separated.
  • All of your pets’ medical records including a list of vaccination dates and prescribed medications.  Make sure to place them in a waterproof bag.
  • Collar/harness with tags & microchip national registry information.  Make sure that the microchip registry has your most recent address.
  • Muzzle, if necessary.
  • Newspapers or wee wee pads for dogs.
  • Litter box, litter, and a scoop for cats (a disposable kitty litter box is most convenient).
  • Poop bags, bath wipes, and paper towels, cleaning supplies.
  • Manual can opener.
  • Toys, blankets, pet beds if you can easily take them to reduce your pets’ stress.
  • 3-week supply of medications that your pet currently takes.
  • two-week supply of food (1-2 pounds of dry food for every 10 pounds of your dog’s weight).
  • Water—one gallon, per pet, per day; you can’t have too much water.
  • collapsible bowls (for convenience) or dishes that attach to their crate.
  • Sedatives for pets that frighten easily.
  • bath towels.
  • Garbage bags.
  • Household bleach or other disinfectant and paper towels to cleanup your pets’ messes.

You can put everything right inside the pet’s carrier so when the chaos of evacuation begins you can easily put your pet on a leash and grab the crate and go.  Remember, when disaster strikes there will be no time to prepare.

And, finally, download the 20-page “Emergency Planning Guide for Pet Owners

(Requires Adobe Reader – download Adobe Reader FREE)

This comprehensive guide is published by National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS), and is provided courtesy of Paws-itively Purr-fect In-home Pet Sitting, a member of NAPPS.  The guide includes disaster preparation tips, pet identification forms, disaster preparation checklists, and preparation information for specific natural disasters, including hurricanes.

Mobile Apps for IPhone and Android Devices

ASPCA Mobile Pet App for Pet Parents

Red Cross Hurricane APP

Red Cross Pet First Aid APP


Be a responsible pet parent.  Invest the time and effort now so you won’t be sorry later.