How Hurricanes Affect Pets

August 14, 2023
By: Adriana Valle

This past week, NOAA forecasters boosted their previous Atlantic hurricane season prediction from a 30% chance to a 60% chance of being ‘above normal.” Due to record-warm sea surface temperatures, coastal areas may be in for an active and potentially devastating 2023 hurricane season. Because storm-related surges can gravely affect an area’s infrastructure including transportation, sanitation, water, and energy, today, we’re breaking down how hurricanes affect pets and how to prepare. We hope this post will inspire you to get your family’s preparedness and/or evacuation plan in place sooner rather than later.

Storm-Related Transportation Interruptions

Hurricanes, tropical storms, and tropical depressions can affect transportation in a variety of ways. The most common is by making it impossible to get gasoline for vehicles due to supply shortages, or, more commonly, a marked increase in demand. For this reason, experts recommend car owners keep their gas tanks at least half full this time of year. Waiting until you’re on empty is never a good idea, especially when a hurricane or storm is approaching. In the case of an evacuation, less than a half tank of gas won’t get you far.

connecticut shoreline pet parents

Storm-related transportation interruptions also include flooding, which makes it impossible and highly unsafe to drive. Flooding will also make it impossible for employees of stores, gas stations, etc. to reach their workplace, which may impact their ability to operate, even in the best conditions, which is another reason to fuel up.

Finally, it’s not uncommon for local governments to prohibit driving when a state of emergency has been issued, . In an effort to keep the roads clear for utility vehicles and first responders, non-emergency personnel are asked to stay off the roads, which again makes it hard to implement an evacuation plan, restock supplies, fill up the gas tank, etc.

Storm-Related Water Interruptions

connecticut shoreline hurricane prep

While not much can be done by individual families if the drinking water in our area is contaminated as a result of storm surges, being proactive and stocking supplies is the best way to counteract the unexpected. The FDA recommends that families compile at least one week’s worth of water per pet in the household. The one-week rule also applies to food, medicine, etc.

connecticut shoreline hurricane season

When compiling things like drinking water and other supplies, make sure they are stored in a safe and accessible place so that they may be easily accessed in an emergency. Gathering the whole family, pets included, in a safe room with supplies is recommended. Keeping harnesses and leashes on dogs and cats during the storm can also be a smart safety measure. In addition, always have pet carriers nearby. Whatever you do, don’t leave your pets in a separate room, and always take them with you if you’re evacuating.

Storm-Related Sanitation Interruptions

As with transportation, sanitation can be touch and go before, during, and after a storm. Because sanitation includes sewer, septic, and trash management, it’s smart to think about how one will manage these interruptions if they occur.

hurricanes and pets connecticut shoreline

While poop bags and trash may not be the highest items on your prep list, keep them in mind. Purchase extra poop bags, litter, and a spare litter scooper so that you have what you need on hand. Come up with a plan for potty breaks and trash handling. Consider investing in a large covered indoor trash receptacle for pet waste and fill sinks and bathtubs with water to flush toilets using a bucket when necessary. Don’t forget to have lots of toilet paper, paper towels, dog towels, etc. for the whole family.

To learn more, read this article from CT Mirror to learn more about how rising water is expected to significantly affect sanitation in the Connecticut Shoreline. As with many things in life, sanitation services are taken for granted until they are no longer viable.

shoreline happy paws logo 2023

Stay tuned next week for when we tackle power outages and their effect on our pet’s care and well-being. And, don’t hesitate to start your hurricane prep and evacuation plans. You never know what the future holds!

Shoreline Happy Paws offers in-home dog walking and pet sitting services in the following Connecticut Shoreline areas:

  • Old Saybrook
  • Essex, Ivoryton & Centerbrook
  • Deep River
  • Chester
  • Westbrook
  • Clinton
  • Old Lyme
  • East Lyme
  • Niantic

Certain Parts and Certain Service Hours in:

  • Lyme and Madison
  • Waterford, New London, Groton
  • Uncasville, Gales Ferry, Mystic, Noank

Please contact us by phone or text at 860-964-0464 or via email at info@cthappypaws.com to learn more.

By Adriana Valle

Adriana is the owner and Chief Pet-Loving Officer at Shoreline Happy Paws. She has been a Professional Pet Sitter for over 10 years.

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