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Pet Protection Tips to Weather a Natural Disaster

Did you know that August to October is known as the “heart of the hurricane season?” And that September is the month in which tropical storms and hurricanes hit their peak?

When you’re preparing for hurricane season, don’t forget about pet protection. During and after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, thousands of pets were abandoned because their owners had no plans to evacuate them. It’s estimated that between 50,000 to 70,000 pets perished when Hurricane Katrina battered the Gulf Coast states.

Another survey found that 44 percent of people who rode out the storm did so in order to stay with their pets.

Congress took note of this—and then took action by passing the Pet Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act in 2006. This piece of legislation requires local jurisdictions to have a pet evacuation plan in place to qualify for FEMA funding in the event of a disaster. It’s estimated that the act has saved thousands of pets' lives since being enacted.

Pet protection tips

Pet owners still need to take steps to protect their pets even if their communities have pet evacuation centers. Top pet protection tips to weather a natural disaster include:

  • ID your pet. Having your veterinarian plant a microchip in your pet is your best bet. At the very least, make sure your pet has a secure collar with an ID tag with your contact information on it.
  • Put together a pet emergency kit. A pet emergency kit could be a lifesaver if a natural disaster traps you in your home for days at a time. The Humane Society lists what to include in a pet emergency kit.
  • Create an evacuation plan that takes your pets into account. Think about where you’d go and check in with friends and family to make sure they’re okay taking your pets in, too. Also enlist the help of a friend, family member or neighbor who would be available to care for your pet if you’re not able to during a disaster. Finally, compile of list of addresses and phone numbers where you can take your pet for medical care during an emergency. Program the number(s) into your phone in addition to having a physical list. Your veterinarian or local Humane Society can recommend where to take your pet in an emergency.
  • Order “Pets Inside” stickers. ASPCA offers free window decals that alert emergency responders that pets are inside. You can order them at no cost through the ASPCA website.

By following these pet protection tips, you can rest assured that you’re doing your best to keep your pets safe when Mother Nature is doling out her worst.

ERIE® insurance products and services are provided by one or more of the following insurers: Erie Insurance Exchange, Erie Insurance Company, Erie Insurance Property & Casualty Company, Flagship City Insurance Company and Erie Family Life Insurance Company (home offices: Erie, Pennsylvania) or Erie Insurance Company of New York (home office: Rochester, New York).  The companies within the Erie Insurance Group are not licensed to operate in all states. Refer to the company licensure and states of operation information.

The insurance products and rates, if applicable, described in this blog are in effect as of July 2022 and may be changed at any time. 

Insurance products are subject to terms, conditions and exclusions not described in this blog. The policy contains the specific details of the coverages, terms, conditions and exclusions. 

The insurance products and services described in this blog are not offered in all states.  ERIE life insurance and annuity products are not available in New York.  ERIE Medicare supplement products are not available in the District of Columbia or New York.  ERIE long term care products are not available in the District of Columbia and New York. 

Eligibility will be determined at the time of application based upon applicable underwriting guidelines and rules in effect at that time.

Your ERIE agent can offer you practical guidance and answer questions you may have before you buy.