Pet Safety Tornado Tips

by Mary Grace

Given the recent events in Indiana, we at Mister Migs decided that a series of articles on what to do with your pet during natural disasters would be both timely and prudent, beginning with tornadoes:

- Learn the terminology used in weather reports so that you know exactly what is happening the moment you hear of it

- Have a plan in advance for what you and your pet are going to do. Practice it with your pet and your family

- Know your pet’s hiding spots in the house so you can reach them as swiftly as possible

- Have a designated safe spot to hide in, preferably a cellar or “tornado-proofed” room; take cover there as soon as a tornado warning is issued

- Train your pet to go to this room on command

- In addition to emergency supplies for yourself and your family, have the following supplies stored in the safe room for your pet: a carrier, a harness and leash, plastic bags, a copy of their immunization records, bowls, and two weeks supply of their food, water, and medications. Favorite toys and blankets to comfort them are also a good idea.

- Make sure that the safe room is equally safe for your pets (for instance, there should not be anything toxic they might eat, anything they might step on or injure themselves with, etc.)

- If you have to evacuate, bring your pet, even if you think that you will only be gone for a few hours

- Have a plan for what to do if your pet escapes during or after the disaster

- Train your pet to come to the sound of a whistle, since your pet may not be able to hear your voice during a tornado

- After the tornado has passed, do not let your pet roam. Landmarks and scents will likely be different, and your pet may get lost. Displaced and disoriented wildlife can also be a danger to your pet.

- When returning to your home or assessing damage to it, keep your pet on a leash so that it does not become lost or injured in any wreckage.

Stay tuned for more tips!