Preparedness Suggestions in Light of Hurricane Matthew

As Hurricane Matthew starts heading up the Eastern seaboard, Central Veterinary Associates (CVA) is reminding pet owners to take their pets into consideration during the emergency preparedness plans. For these, and all natural and man-made disasters, Americans are encouraged to create an emergency kit containing ten days’ worth of food, water, medications and other consumables for both themselves and their pets.

Currently classified by the National Hurricane Center as a Category 4 hurricane, Matthew is said to be “extremely dangerous.” Its current maximum sustained winds are being calculated at over 145 miles per hour. The storm, which made landfall in Haiti on Tuesday, is expected to pass over the Eastern tip of Cuba on Wednesday morning and continue across the Bahamas, bringing the possibility of extensive flooding. Meteorologists currently predict that it will make landfall in the Southeastern United States on Friday, in either Florida or North Carolina, which have already declared states of emergency. The residual effects for Long Island are as yet to be determined.

In addition to securing personal emergency kits, which save lives and reduce distress in the event of a natural disaster, pet owners should take extra precautions. Emergency planning should include locating a safe place to take your pet, such as to a relative, local veterinarian or animal shelter, as some emergency shelters do not allow pets. CVA also urges owners to have their pet microchipped before the storm makes landfall as it will help to locate the animal should they become separated from an owner and a collar falls off. In the event that a disaster occurs without warning, all pet owners should have an animal-friendly emergency kit that includes pet medication and medical records, sturdy leashes and harnesses and/or carriers to transport the animal, food, water, litter box, scoops and garbage bags, the veterinarian’s contact information, current photos of the animal in case they get lost and the pet’s bed or toys (if easily transportable).

“Leaving your pets out of your emergency plan and kit can put pets, pet owners and first responders in danger,” says Dr. John Charos, DVM, President/CEO, Central Veterinary Associates. “Preparation makes a difference, so it is important to have your pet microchipped along with an emergency plan, kit and designated area for your family and pet to stay safe should a disaster occur. CVA offers microchipping services and pet boarding that has a veterinarian make regular rounds to ensure your pet’s comfort and administer medications during their stay.”

CVA keeps its hospital in Valley Stream open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, including all major holidays. For more information about CVA or to make an appointment, call
1 (888) 4CVA-PET (428-2738) or visit www.centralvets.com.

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