Sometimes, it seems like the things we talk about here at VPF are common sense. Of course if there’s bad weather looming or already pouring down on your heads, you’re going to bring the pets inside. Even if you have cats who tend to prowl outdoors, they’re likely to scurry home once the rain or wind picks up. They know where they’re loved and sheltered, after all.
But what we want to talk about today is when *really* bad weather is about to hit–or has caught you by surprise. We’re talking about hail, nasty thunder and lightning, tornadoes, and natural disasters resulting from these, such as mudslides, flooding, fires, and so on. How do you care for your pets (alongside you and your family, of course) in the face of such crisis?
First, preparedness is key. Don’t take the sunny and calm days for granted. Research your area and see what violent and dangerous weather the region is known for. Discover what you can do to prepare for these times, whether it’s having an evacuation plan, an emergency supply kit, a safe place in your house for everyone to congregate, or otherwise. And remember to include the dog or cat in these plans!
Second, once prepared, be aware. Nothing is worse than being caught off-guard by nasty weather and having to scramble to survive. But if you pay attention to things like weather reports, emergency radio broadcasts, concerned calls from family or friends, or news broadcasts–not to mention just keeping the occasional eye on the sky to see how the clouds are brewing–you’ll be far likelier to be aware of incoming potential disasters.
Third, stay calm. You’ve got a plan (and hopefully practiced it). If you’re aware of the emergency, hopefully everyone–including your pets–have been gathered so you are together during the situation. Now is the time to remain calm and focused, and even positive, because that energy is going to bleed over into everyone else, including your pet. If you panic, lash out in fear or anger, or otherwise show a lot of negative reactions, your pet will pick up on those and may become more difficult to manage. Show them that there’s nothing to worry about, and they’ll believe you.
Have you taken these three steps to helping your pet get through nasty weather with little more than maybe their fur getting a bit wet? If not, consider your best options and then start working on setting them in place. You’ll be glad you did!
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