In December 2015, right after Christmas, numerous tornadoes hit the Dallas, Texas area and left huge amounts of damage in their wake. Even though it wasn’t tornado season, the danger was very real. If you live in a region that can have tornadoes, you should be prepared whether or not it’s technically tornado season.
Don’t wait until a tornado siren is blaring to decide how you’re going to keep you and your pets safe. Put a plan together now! Here are a few things you can do to help keep your kitty protected in case a tornado hits a little too close to home.
1. Pick Out A Safe Room
Don’t wait until a tornado warning is issued to figure out the best safe room in your home. NOAA recommends sheltering in a basement or a storm cellar if one is available. If not, get on the lowest floor of your home, in an interior room without windows, like a closet or a bathroom. Have a small mattress, sleeping bags, or heavy blankets in the room to help protect you from flying debris. Keep your cat carriers in the room too so you can keep your cats safe!
2. Keep Emergency Supplies Handy
Ready.gov has great recommendations for how you should prepare and what supplies you should have in your emergency kit for your safe room. As for your cat, make sure you have litter, food in waterproof containers, and water available in case your house gets hit and you need quick access to supplies.
You should also have an emergency bag stored in the safe room for kitty. CatTime has a great article detailing what should go in an emergency bag (click here). The items include a leash, bottled water, medicine, and your cat’s vaccination records. You should also make sure you have a recent picture of your cat uploaded online, just in case your cat escapes and you need a photo for rescue workers.
3. Don’t Wait Until The Last Minute
Cats are notorious for hiding during a storm or when they hear something scary. So don’t wait until tornado sirens are blaring to gather your cats and keep them in a safe room. Bring them inside right away if there might be a tornado watch in your area. Make sure you have everything set up for an emergency so you can be ready at the drop of a hat. Storms can come on suddenly, and it’s much more difficult to prepare if the power goes out.
4. Get Your Cat Microchipped
One of the most important things you should do is get your cat microchipped. A microchip is just a tiny chip implanted by a vet between your cat’s shoulder blades. When scanned, it will show whom your cat belongs to. Register the microchip online with a service like Home Again. This will provide more information about your cat and you if the chip is scanned. It also will give you easy access to finding your cat’s microchip number if you ever need it in an emergency.
5. Buy Your Cat A GPS Collar
Get a collar for your cat that has a GPS tracker on it along with her rabies vaccination tag. If your cat hates collars, you might only want her to wear it during a tornado watch. There are a lot of options out there, but one favorite that you can buy on Amazon is the Marco Polo Pet Monitoring System. This works best on cats that are 10 pounds or heavier, though some reviewers have reported that it works on cats as light as 8 pounds. The Marco Polo is a self-contained radio system that doesn’t require GPS. If you want to try a GPS tracker, consider Tractive, which is highly rated and available to buy on Amazon. When choosing a system, read the reviews to make sure it has a good battery life, a good range, and is light enough for cats.
Although it’s impossible to know if a tornado will hit near your home, you can definitely be prepared for the unexpected. Remember that if there is a storm and your cat is indoor/outdoor, wait before you let her back outside. Strong winds can down power lines and make the outdoors dangerous for kitty after a big storm.
What do you do to keep your cat safe in a storm? Do you have an emergency plan? Let us know in the comments below.