June 1 – November 30 is Hurricane season in South Florida. When the time comes to get ready for a storm, pet owners need to prepare for themselves and their pets. With COVID-19 still prevalent, there are new precautions one must take into consideration when preparing for this hurricane season, especially if you plan to evacuate to a local shelter.
Whether staying at home to ride out a storm, evacuating to a shelter, or evacuating out of state, the following is all the information pet parents need to know to help keep their pets safe this hurricane season!
This article discusses hurricane pet prep and includes essential information on things you’ll need for your pet during and after a natural disaster.
Essential Links For Hurricane Preparedness In Miami
- Download and print the 2022 Hurricane Readiness Guide
- Learn whether you’re in an evacuation zone in Miami
- Learn about mandatory evacuation orders in Miami
- If you’re not evacuating, this article will help you establish a safe place in your home.
- Hurricane information: https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes
- Keep up to date with http://www.miamidade.gov/emergency/ – when it activates.
- Find open Evacuation Centers
- Report a power outage to FPL
- Download the Ready MDC app for iOS and Android:
- Find bus emergency pick-up sites in Miami
Pet-Friendly Disaster Kit List
The following are essential items to include in your pet-friendly disaster kit. We encourage all pet parents to create a kit for each pet in their family before a storm hits so that you have all the appropriate amounts of things and don’t have to stress out at the last minute.
- Food – both wet and dry if you feed both, for at least five days for each pet.
- Water – the rule of thumb is to have 1 gallon per pet, per day. While your pet may not need much, keep an extra gallon on hand if they become exposed to chemicals or floodwaters and need to be rinsed off.
- Food and water bowl
- Manual can opener
- Medications and medical records are stored in a waterproof container
- First-aid kit
- Leash/Harness/Collar/Muzzle if needed for each pet
- Proper identification for each pet, like a name tag with a contact phone number
- Rabies tag and proof of vaccine for each pet
- Microchip numbers for each pet if your pets are microchipped
- Collars can become loose, which could be the only identification your pet may have if they become lost. Consider having your pets microchipped if they aren’t already.
- Cat litter box, extra litter, a scoop, and garbage bags to collect waste
- Interactive toys, Kong’s and or bones to keep your pets entertained
- Crates/Carriers to transport pets safely and to ensure that your pets can’t escape.
- Carriers should be large enough to allow your pet to stand comfortably, turn around and lie down.
- Your pet may have to stay in the carrier for hours.
- Have a secure cage with no loose objects to accommodate smaller pets. Depending on their species, they may also need blankets or towels for bedding, warmth, and unique items.
- Current up to date photos of you with your pets with descriptions of your pets for identification
- Current photos will help identify your babies and provide proof of guardianship for reunification.
- A written document of pets’ feeding schedules, medical conditions, and behavior issues
- Please include the name and number of your veterinarian in case you have to board your pets or place them in foster care.
- Newspapers, towels, wee-wee pads, and paper towels for your pets to use the restroom if they cannot go outside for long periods.
- Grooming items such as shampoo, brush/comb
- Cleaning supplies
- Include enough PPE for your entire family for the duration of time you play to be away from your home.
To learn more about how to make your emergency supply kit click here.
Join our CEO, Nicole Brown Packin, and JUMP Consulting – Pet Business Coaching, Bella Vasta, as they discuss Hurricane Preparedness and what all pet owners should do to prepare for a natural disaster.
Miami-Dade Pet-Friendly Evacuation Centers
There are eight Pet-Friendly Evacuation Centers (PFEC) in South Florida. Evacuation shelters will be instituting social distancing due to COVID-19. That means there will be less space for people and, therefore, less space for pets. You must start making plans if you live in an evacuation or flood zone right now.
Pet-Friendly evacuation centers open depending on the severity of the hurricane for pet owners residing in qualified evacuation zones, unsafe structures, or mobile homes. Pet owners are urged to bring food and provisions for themselves and their pets, PPE, hand sanitizer, and whatever their family needs to be safe.
Other updates due to COVID-19 include the way cats are handled. Different rules will be put into place, especially when it comes to cats. Anyone handling cats must wear gloves!
The PFEC locations will be announced as they are opened before the storm’s arrival. Visit the Miami-Dade County website, call 311, or monitor your local news to update the latest information. All animals will be assessed to determine if the animal presents a safety risk. Vaccinations nor medical treatment are NOT provided at emergency evacuation centers. Animals accepted at pet-friendly evacuation centers include dogs, cats, ferrets, gerbils, guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, common household birds, and breeds of rabbits under 10 pounds.
EVACUATION CONSIDERATIONS DURING COVID-19
From Miami-Dade County’s emergency evacuation site:
“COVID-19 is a new coronavirus that has spread throughout the world. It is thought to spread mainly from person to person, mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Spread is more likely when people are close to one another (within about 6 feet). It may be possible that you can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching your mouth, nose, or possibly your eyes.
Covid-19 Preventative Measure In Evacuation Centers
- Bring your mask (face covering) and keep it on. Anyone over two years old should use a cloth face covering while at the evacuation center.
- Remember to wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Bring your hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes to disinfect frequently touched items within your assigned space at the evacuation center.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Keep a 6-feet distance between yourself and persons not part of your immediate family; remember, the cloth face mask is not a substitute for social distancing.
- Place used tissues in the trash.
For more information and updates, visit Miamidade.gov. You can also watch the video below on the impact of COVID-19 on hurricane preparedness.
What You’ll Need To Stay At An Evacuation Center
Pet owners residing in hurricane evacuation zones, unsafe structures, or trailers can participate. You’ll need to pre-register for the two shelters and be aware that space is limited. Residents must provide proof of residency within an evacuation zone and present medical and current vaccination records for each pet. Bring supplies for yourself and your pet(s). There are a limit of four (4) pets per household, and a family member must remain in the PHEC with the pet(s).
- Proof of residency within an evacuation zone
- Present medical and current vaccination records for each pet.
Miami-Dade County Code requires pets to be up-to-date on annual rabies vaccinations and wear a visible Miami-Dade County dog license. Strict enforcement concerning these violations is essential to ensure a rabies-free community. Cats are also required to have annual rabies vaccinations.
- Pet owners must bring supplies for themselves and their pet(s)
- Limit four pets per household
- A family member must remain in the PEC with the pet(s)
Please note that Animal Services does not board animals during emergencies. The Pet Adoption and Protection Center will be crowded due to displaced animals immediately after a storm, and it is not possible to kennel-owned animals before an emergency event.
Things To Know About Your Stay At Evacuation Centers
Pet owners must be prepared to care for and maintain control over their pets. To avoid injury to response personnel or the public, owners are required to:
- Maintain their pets in a crate, on a leash, or otherwise controlled
- Muzzle aggressive or anxious pets
Pet owners should also be aware of the following circumstances:
- If a need arises to monitor pets for contamination, owners must maintain control of the pet and follow the directions of the responders providing the emergency services.
- Pet owners must wash contaminants and conduct the wash down under the direction of emergency responders.
- Pets that become a threat to responders or the public will be placed under the control of an animal control officer.
For more information, visit the Miami-Dade County website or call 311.
Our pets can’t prepare for hurricanes on their own, so we, as pet owners, need to make sure they are ready for a storm and its aftermath, just like us.
Service Animals and Hurricanes
According to FDA.gov, “pets that help people with disabilities are allowed in General Population Shelters and Red Cross Shelters as long as they meet the requirements for service animals under federal law (see ADA Requirements for Service Animals).”
List Of All Hurricane Shelters in Dade-County
Please note that not every site listed below will open for every evacuation.
For Miami-Dade shelter addresses and evacuation routes, click here or dial 3-1-1 to determine which shelters will be open when an evacuation is announced.
- Barbara Goleman Senior High School
- Booker T. Washington Senior High School
- Charles Drew Middle School
- Country Club Middle School
- Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School (Pet-friendly)
- Felix Varela Senior High School
- Hialeah Gardens Senior High School
- Highland Oaks Middle School
- Lawton Chiles Middle School
- Miami Carol City Senior
- Miami Central Senior High School
- Miami Coral Park Senior High School
- North Miami Beach Senior High School
- North Miami Senior High School
- Robert Morgan Educational Center
- Ronald Reagan Senior High School
- South Dade Senior High School
- South Miami Senior High School
- Terra Environmental Senior High School
- W.R. Thomas Middle School
Should you have any questions about preparing for Hurricane Season, contact us or visit Miami-Dade County’s website for the latest information on pending storms, shelter information, and more.
Nicole founded Miami Pet Concierge in May 2007, with a mission to provide Miami, Florida’s pet parents with personalized pet care plans based on their pets’ species, age, breed, health, and lifestyle. All while keeping their pets “happy at home.” In addition, offering pet care education for all pet owners to guide them to become great pet parents.