Hurricane disaster kits for pets

By Rachel Leigh - bio | email

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - The tropics have been pretty quiet lately, but who can forget Hurricane Frances, Jean and Wilma pounding the area?

Hopefully, things will remain calm, but the Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League and the American Red Cross want to make sure your family is safe in the event of an emergency, and that includes your furry friends.

"Our program is 'Friends Don't Leave Friends Behind'. We learned through Hurricane Katrina and some of the other larger hurricanes we've had locally that we do need to plan ahead," said Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League Assistant Director Heidi Nielsen. "We recommend having a pet first aid kit with food, water, any medication your pet has to take."

Your pet emergency kit should include a three-day food and water supply, bowls, crates and litter boxes.

Even if you don't have a disaster kit ready, the main thing David Winters with the American Red Cross says is don't leave them behind. "Thousands of pets were displaced during Katrina because they thought they were going to be back in a couple of days, but it actually had been many weeks. And during that time the flood waters had broke, and the water became contaminated."

Also, make sure to have proper identification. "Microchipping is a very important part of making sure you get your pet back if there's every an emergency," said Nielsen. "And it's also important to update that microchip information once a year."

You can register your pet with animal control. In case you get separate, keep a photo of you with your pet to prove ownership.