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Natural Disaster Preparedness During Storm Season

Spring means storm season! We want pets to be safe during uncertain weather conditions. It is vital to keep your pet safe when a natural disaster strikes. Here are some tips to follow in preparation for the upcoming severe weather today:

Before the Tornado

  • Ensure all pets are indoors and have ID (collars and tags). Having a microchip increases the chances of reuniting with your pet in case of a natural disaster.

  • Identify a tornado-safe area large enough for your entire family and pets (often a basement or the most interior room of the house on the bottom floor.)

  • Make sure your safe room is pet-friendly. Remove toxins like rodenticides, insecticides, or paints, and block hazard access.

  • Each pet should have its own leash, carrier, or cage- this will give them a safe area during the storm.

  • Know your pet’s hiding places and how to quickly and safely get them to the safe area- pets can sense when storms are coming and often hide in anticipation.

  • Do not leave your pets unattended outside- they can easily get spooked and run off. In addition, high winds make outdoor tethers and dog houses unsafe during this time.

  • Collect your pet’s necessities: food, water, collapsible bowls, a first aid kit, and medications, as well as comfort items like toys or pet beds. Depending on the pet, you may also need a disposable litter box, litter, poop bags, etc.

Disaster Preparedness for Pets- Northside Veterinary Hospital
Disaster Preparedness for Pets- Northside Veterinary Hosptial

During A Tornado

  • If you need to evacuate your home, please don’t leave your pets behind if possible. Leaving pets behind overwhelms the shelter system when lost pets aren’t claimed.

  • If you are riding out the storm at home, pets should be put in crates or carriers in the safe room. Place the crates under a sturdy piece of furniture and in a windowless area if possible.

  • If a tornado or severe storm develops, it is essential to keep calm! Pets feed off our anxiety and feelings. If possible- turn on the TV or music to provide a distraction. For pets with noise anxiety, anti-anxiety medication prescribed by your veterinarian, pheromone sprays (for example, Feliway or Adaptil), or Thundershirts can help provide a sense of calm.


After a Tornado

If your pet goes missing during a storm, it is important to contact local shelters, put up flyers, and contact all veterinary hospitals in the area to get the word out. Also, if your pet has a microchip- report your pet as missing.


If your pet was injured during severe weather, call Northside Veterinary Hospital any time during regular business hours of 7:45 AM-5:30 PM Monday- Friday, and Saturday 8:45 AM-Noon. If this is an animal emergency, please see our emergency resources below:




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