How to prepare when you have dogs: Can also see the First Aid chapter and Evacuation chapter for a lot more specific information.

1. Make at least 3 days worth of food and store as usual. Remember, you would be without refrigerator unless you have a generator, but food can stay cold (cool) at least 24 hrs if u aren’t opening and closing door. Can pack bags of ice around important foods.

2. Have more than enough meds on hand for your dog(s) in case places can’t reopen for a few days or week. We were down 4 days, but lots of Houston was out for 2-3 wks.

3. Fill as many containers as possible with water to drink AND water for toilet. Fill your bath tub(s), spa, pool, kiddie pool, buckets, etc. for water used for potty, but use clean containers of any kind for drinking water for you AND your dog(s). Requires about 1 gallon a day for human and dog – if your dog drinks water.

4. If you have a generator you might invest in the cheapest A/C window unit (Walmart has low cost) plus fans to have one rm where your dog and you can get cool. This has been a critical piece for us as lost A/C twice here for 2 days each and house went to 90+ quickly. They also make plenty of battery operated fans, but make sure you buy large quantity of appropriate batteries as they don’t last usually more than 8 hrs.

5. Protect paws when they go outside AFTER the storm. We thoroughly checked our back yard and took ours out on leashes only as we had tons of shingles, wood pieces and glass that ended up in our yard. We have Muttluk booties as part of their kit purchased at Gander Mtn or Petsmart.

6. During the storm make sure all your furry friends are in one secure place “rally point”. Should have collars and leashes on and try to be somewhere that has no outside wall. Also make sure if you have water heaters or furnace upstairs that you are not right below that in case roof goes and comes thru house. Stay as far from where large trees could potentially fall on your part of the house also in case they go thru roof.

7. Have protection in your “rally point” such as a mattress, pillows or comforters in case a window breaks and you having flying objects. Bathrooms work well as usually do utility rooms. We moved our 1st day supply of dog and people food and water to that point in case you couldn’t get to the kitchen.

8. Have plenty of yard bags handy for trash pickup in yds from debris.

9. Thoroughly check your ENTIRE yard and fence afterwards before you allow any furbaby out by themselves. We had downed fences and debris including full trees and limbs.

10. Charge cell phones. They MIGHT work somewhere. Ours could only get a signal well down the street but we could notify family we were ok. Can charge in your car. Notify one person ahead of time that will act as liaison to get your condition to everyone else saves cell battery and gives a lifeline.

11. Make sure cars are ALL filled with gas in case you need to leave afterwards.

12. Stock up on extra gasoline if you run a generator.

13. Can get extra propane tank if you run a gas BBQ grill – much faster than trying to use a camp stove or outside charcoal grill, but charcoal works great too if you have plenty on hand, plus matches and starters.

14. Have enough cash on hand because if your area loses electricity no other form of payment can work.

15. Consider these misc: Flashlights and batteries, bleach, portable TV, paper towels, food that doesn’t require much prep, hand can opener, paper plates, plastic utensils, napkins, toilet paper, those clorox pads are great for fast cleanup after meals, trash bags for inside garbage, etc.

16. Protect all important documents in water and wind proof location and keep your wallets and credit cards with you in case you cannot get to them.

17. Have first aid kit for humans and animals (can get these already made up at Petsmart, Petco, etc).

18. Your home: Pick up and/or put away everything outside that could cause damage with heavy wind…can move to better location outside or put in garage. Park your cars where their isn’t a tree but also higher ground if in danger of flooding. Unplug all you electronics as massive power surges can ruin everything.

19. Hunker down and shelter in place together with humans and your animals unless told to evacuate. IF you think you may have to evacuate, MAKE PLANS NOW AND LEAVE EARLY!!!! Chance of just leaving and finding a place for you AND your animals is not going to happen.

20. Be prepared. Better to be over prepared than complacent. Take it from Houston….we saw this by the thousands that did not take things seriously enough and were caught off guard.