Hurricane Checklist

Hurricane Preparedness Checklist

Do not wait until the last minute to make evacuation plans when everyone, including your pet, is in a panic.  Prepare now to avoid a CATastrophe & those DOG day afternoons with these tips…

Before the storm

Prepare a hurricane kit that includes:

  • Secure pet carriers for cats and small dogs and sturdy leashes/harnesses for larger dogs and appropriate size crates or cages for other type pets such as reptiles, birds, etc.
  • Place medications and medical records, including proof of current vaccinations, in a waterproof container.
  • Have a two week supply of any medication your pet takes on a regular basis as well as familiar food and water.  Remember to take bowls and a manual can opener.
  • Cat litter/pan with extra litter and a litter scooper.
  • Have an information sheet prepared that includes: medical conditions and treatment schedule if needed, feeding instructions, name and phone number of your veterinarian. 
  • In the event that you must take your pet to a kennel as a last resort, be sure the facility is located outside of evacuation zones.  Reserve space as soon as possible.  Kennels will also require proof of vaccines.
  • Have current photos of your pet in case they get lost. 
  • Be sure your pet is wearing all necessary forms of ID such as rabies license and name/address tags.  Make sure your pet's county registration tag is up to date.
  • Bring comforting things like portable bedding, blankets, and toys.
  • PLAN AHEAD to have a safe place to take your pets because public shelters, like the ones operated by the Red Cross do not allow family pets (service dogs are the exception).
  • Keep a list of the pet friendly shelters in your area.  REMEMBER: Residents must register themselves and their pets for these pet friendly shelters, as space is limited.  Mobile home residents are given first priority.  Register as soon as possible.
  • One of the best forms of pet identification is microchipping.  Be sure to have your pet microchipped before hurricane season.  If your pet already has one, be sure that it is registered and the information is current and correct.

Helpful Hint: When planning to evacuate, attach the phone number and address of your temporary shelter or of a friend/relative outside the affected area to the back of your pets ID tag.

As the Storm Approaches

  • Know your evacuation zone.
  • Remember, all mobile home residents must evacuate regardless of location.
  • Hurricane guides with evacuation zone maps are available from local media sources, grocery stores and other merchants.  Keep one in your home and one in your vehicle.

Preparing to Evacuate

If you feel you might have to leave your property to ensure everyone’s safety:

  • Call ahead to confirm emergency shelter arrangements.
  • Bring all pets into the house so you won’t have to search for them in you have to leave in a hurry.
  • Be sure all pets are wearing their collars and ID tags.
  • Be sure your pets hurricane kit (discussed above) is ready to travel.
  • Remember: animals- like people- will react differently when under stress.  Keep all dogs securely leashed and cats in sturdy carriers.  Even a normally calm pet may panic and try to escape or even bite in a stressful situation.

After the Storm

  • Whether or not you physically left your home, walk your pet(s) around outside on a leash until they become re-oriented with their surroundings.
  • Don’t allow pets to consume food or water which may have become contaminated.
  • Watch for downed power lines and other debris that can be hazardous to you and your pet.
  • If your electricity is out for a while and you use an alternate source of light, never leave an open flame from candles, oil lamps, etc., unattended around your animals.

Here is a list of pet friendly shelters in nearby counties:

Pinellas County 

  • Largo High School, 410 Missouri Ave. N., Largo, FL
  • Gibbs High School, 850 34th St. S., St. Petersburg, FL
  • Palm Harbor University High School, 1900 Omaha St., Palm Harbor, FL

To report a lost pet call Pinellas County Animal Services – 727-582-2600

YOU MUST pre-register to use the Pinellas County facilities by calling 727-582-2150  or download a registration form and bring it with you to the shelter:

Pasco County

  • Mike Fasano Regional Hurricane Shelter, 11611 Denton Ave, Hudson, FL * Owner must stay at shelter to take care of the animals needs. Shelter is for evacuation zones A, B, C and mobile homes.

YOU MUST pre-register and an application and other rules can be found at this website: or call 727-834-3216 , 813-929-1212 or (352) 521-5194 ( Press 0 to speak to operator).

Hillsborough County

Public pet friendly shelters are available in Hillsborough County but they should be used ONLY as a last resort.  Please check this site for the current status of shelters that may be designated as pet friendly:

Visit the following web site to see local hotel/motel facilities that accept pets:   Call ahead to verify availability and reserve a room.

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