When the National Weather Service issues a tornado warning, your first step is usually to take your kids and family members and find safety in a tornado shelter. But how do you secure your household pets during the scramble?
Countless heartwarming as well as heartbreaking stories of the aftermath of tornado disasters show us how multiple victims search for their pets in the debris of their homes.
Some find them do, while others don’t.
And in most cases, those who lose their pets, unfortunately, do so because they’re unable to seek shelter in time. Or they’re unable to find their pet when disaster strikes.
So, how do you prepare when a tornado warning does get issued? Here are some quick tips to help you make a plan.
How to Get Your Pet to Safety
Get Them Microchipped
In addition to posting your name and address and their name on their permanent ID tag, get your pet microchipped and registered, just in case. Tags can get ripped off, but microchips stay. If something happens and you both do get separated, microchips give you the chance to find your pet quickly.
It’s thundering hard, and you know a tornado is imminent. If a tornado watch is issued, start packing and prepare your tornado shelter (or an inside room) so you know where to go. Get your pet from under the bed or wherever they are, and hold them in your arms, or use a baby blanket to wrap them, so they feel safe.
Train Them Early
Teach them a cue, so they know where to go in case of a tornado. Run drills with them every day while training so they can make their way to the shelter on your command. Training them will not only assure you they’ve made it to safety, but it’ll also give you more time to focus on other family members who may be trailing behind.
Prepare Your Shelter
If you have a tornado shelter or safe room, equip it with a bed, a carrier, your pet’s medication if they need it, tin food and bottled water, a leash, a blanket, and a pair of noise-canceling headphones if they get scared of loud, excessive noise.
Don’t Let Them Escape When You Go Out
Tornado damage doesn’t end once the storm passes. Broken glass, exposed nails, electrical lines, glass—there’s so much that can cause injuries if you’re not careful. If your pet is the jumpy type and more likely to escape, keep them with your family members in the tornado shelter. And stay there until you know help is on the way.
If you have a dog or a cat, use a leash when it’s safe and keep it tied and secure in your hands at all times. If they’re a large breed and might chew through the leash, use a pet harness.
This is why tornado shelters have become so popular over the last years. For homeowners and families, you must have a shelter that helps everyone from the household stay safe and secure. And that includes your pets.