While people in Yorktown are lining up to order pumpkin spice lattes and looking forward to sweater weather, the mid-Atlantic is in the midst of Atlantic hurricane season. Hurricanes are often considered a weather phenomenon unique to the Caribbean, Florida, and Gulf areas, but they are a reality for everyone that lives near the coast, both on the Atlantic and in the Gulf of Mexico. Most active in the US coastline from August to October, with September 10th being the date to watch, hurricane season is nothing to mess with. For this reason, your pet-specific prep for hurricane season must start now, if it hasn't already.
When To Start Pet-Specific Prep for Hurricane Season
Because hurricanes can form and make landfall within as little as a week, pet parents with special needs pets, pets that take medication that is hard to get, and those on non-commercial diets should have a plan in place long before the start of hurricane season, which begins annually on June 1st.
Pet parents that don't fall into those categories would still be smart to get a head start on hurricane prep to avoid product shortages, supply-chain issues, shipping delays, and other hurdles that often pop up unexpectedly. Waiting until the last minute is a surefire way to stress yourself out and go into a storm system watch with less than you need.
Why You Need Pet-Specific Prep for Hurricane Season
Whether you're bracing for a hurricane or a Nor'easter, your pet has specific needs that need to be addressed when preparing for a weather emergency. By starting early and being specific about your pet's physiological, behavioral, and emotional needs, you and your family will be better able to withstand power outages, flooding, etc.
While you can certainly share canned tuna with cats and dogs for a few days, for example, you probably don't want to have them living off tuna alone for extended periods. Realistically, a large dog or two can go through your whole stash of canned food in no time, leaving you and your family in a bind. The same goes for water, towels, medication, etc. Make sure you have enough species-specific supplies for everyone.
How To Start Pet-Specific Prep for Hurricane Season
To start your family's pet-specific prep for hurricane season, make a list of what each pet species in your home uses daily.
Order extra food, buy extra water, and keep the basics where you can easily access them during the storm. The ASPCA has a very thorough Disaster Preparedness Guide on its website. Among other things, the ASPCA urges you to never leave your pets behind during evacuations. and to choose pet guardians in case something were to happen to you. They offer lists of supplies to arrange and special considerations for different species.
The internet is full of lists to help you prepare for hurricanes. Local and federal leadership has learned a great deal from the mistakes made in past storms and now knows how to better prepare for hurricanes. No matter what companion animal we share our life with, the key to preparedness is simply taking the time to do it. We urge you to find the time this week or month because we never know what comes next.
Yorktown, Virginia Hurricane Season
The York County website offers hurricane prep resources for area residents. For coastal Virginians, who are most vulnerable to storm surges and flooding from hurricanes and tropical storms, the “Know Your Zone” program includes twenty-three localities in tiered evacuation zones. Evacuating with pets can be very complex therefore know your zone and plan accordingly.
At Hearts at Home Pet Sitting, we work together with local authorities, our exceptional team of pet sitters, and our clients to ensure that the pets in our care are covered if a hurricane makes landfall while their families are away. As part of our inclement weather policy, every effort will be made to complete pet sitting visits for those that are out of town during a weather emergency. We use our best judgment to ensure the safety of your pets and home while keeping in constant contact with you and considering our team's wellbeing. Your emergency contact is notified if it is not possible for us to safely access your home. Of course, we urge you to make arrangements with someone to evacuate your entire pet family in case of a disaster or weather-related crisis if you live in an evacuation zone.
Our team of professionals offers top-notch dog walking and pet sitting services in Yorktown, Poquoson, Newport News, and Hampton, Virginia. To get started, submit your new client questionnaire here. For more information visit our website or contact us by email at Hello@HeartsAtHomePetSitting.com or by phone at 757-745-9868.