Are your pets Storm Ready?
In a matter of hours, even minutes, severe weather can destroy your home, and everything you love.
Whether you need to evacuate, or you are just worried about your pets getting lost, you need to make sure your fur children are storm ready.
The images are terrifying to any pet parent- pets, stranded after disaster, separated from their families, often lost forever.
But, there are things you can do to prevent that. For starters, make sure your pet is microchipped.
If your pet is lost, in a storm, or any other situation, that chip could help bring them back home, says pet mom, and Pet Smart manager, Rhonda Mcgraw, "All shelters have a chip scanner."
So do most vets offices, but don't just rely on the chip. Rhonda says you also need to make sure your pet has visible ID, "Make sure they have a collar, with up to date name tag, that has your phone number, your address, all that information so they can find you."
In the event of a major catastrophe, many shelters, like the Humane Society of Genesee County offer temporary shelter in an evacuation situation.
"We would set up something here, if there was a disaster," says shelter worker Lori Haglund, "And we would have a place people could come with thier animals. And we would keep their animals safe."
If you go that route, you will need to bring along proper Id for your pet, as well as proof of their up-to-date vaccinations.
You should also have a suplly of any medications your pet takes, whether you are dropping them at a shelter, or they evacuating with you.
Put together an emergency kit for your pet, Rhonda sasy, before a storm hitsm "You know it's the season, have an extra bag of food in there. have water and bowls for them. everything you're going to have for yourself, have for your dog.
Make sure, Rhonda says, to include a first aid kit, "They have the guaze and the bandage and that kind of stuff, just in case something does happen."
That survival kit will come in handy, even if you don't evacuate, but are stranded at home, or without power.
Another good thing to have ready is something to calm your pet, especially if storms make them anxious.
"The Thundershirts are probably the most popular, by far," Rhonda says, of the calming products, Pet Smart offers, "And they work kind of on the same premis as swaddling a baby. So you wrap them tight, and it feels like a hug."
If Thundershirts just don't work for your pet, there are other options for calming, that are becoming increasingly popular.
"There's a lot of things," Rhonda says, "Phermones are very popular. They're all natural."
There are collars and airfreshners, among other phermone relasing products you can try.
Rhonda says there is another golden rule that will make your pet feel more secure if a storm hits, "Bring them in. Don't let them out during a thunderstorm. If you have outdoor dogs, if they can get out of their kennels, bring them in. Put them in the basement with you, cause that's going to be the safest spot."
This wednesday at 7 PM, on NBC25, you can find out how to protect your entire family.
Tune in to our Storm Ready Survival Guide. Chief Meteorologist Jamie Kagol, Ahmad Bajjey, Nick Russo and I will bring you a half hour of vital information to keep you and the people you love, safe in severe weather.