Winter storms can wreak havoc with snowfall rates of 2-3 inches per hour and gusty, blowing wind. Be sure to pay attention to winter storm, blizzard, and ice storm warnings.
A few things you can and should do if you’re in the path of a major winter storm:
- Bring your pet inside well ahead of the storm. You don’t want your little Fluffy to get trapped outside during a major storm.
- Snow aside, when the temperature drops, be sure to bring your pets inside. If it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for them.
- Keep all animals, even cats, on harnesses or leashes to prevent them from getting lost. Make sure your cat’s gear is clearly marked and your cat wears tags. Take the extra step to get your pet microchipped – even if it’s an indoor pet. No one can foresee the future and you never know if your pet could get lost.
- Bang on the hood of your car before starting it and driving away. Many cats that have been left outside, including homeless/feral cats will take shelter in car engines. Banging on the hood can help give the cat a chance to get away safely.
- Have flashlights and batteries ready should the power go out. It’s better to have flameless, LED candles around to avoid a fire hazard.
- Have a good weather app handy. We love the WeatherKitty App. It’s FREE, accurate and full of cats.
It could be days before the roads are cleared and the power is back up and running. Here’s what you’ll need:
- First Aid for Cats Guide Book
- Food – Plan on at least 3 days worth of food.
- Disposable Bowls – Clean Healthy Bowls makes great disposable, biodegradeable pet bowls in case the power is out or pipes are frozen.
- Bottled water – Pack 3-7 days worth of water, you can
- Cell phone charger or power pack – in the event that the electricity goes out, it’s a good idea to have a power pack to charge your phone.
If you need to leave your home be sure you add the following items:
- Collars, Harnesses, Leashes – Be sure your pet has its ID tags on at all times, even if they are indoor pets. Check out LINKS-IT Cat Tag Connector
- Pet Carriers – Make sure you have Pet Carriers – one for each pet in the event you need to leave your home. Never leave pets behind.
- Blankets, Towels, Bedding – Bring enough for all pets
- Disposable Litter Tray – Bring along disposable litter trays like Clean Healthy Bowls Litter Trays
- Litter, Travel Scoop and Poop Bags – If you’re traveling, bring a bag of litter, a travel scooper
along and poop bags. I recommend Litter Lifter® brand.
- List of Medications – Be sure you bring a list of medications and any medical records that you have. Keep them on a USB drive for easy travel.
- Food – Try The Honest Kitchen. It’s powdered cat food with all of the nutrients your cat needs, but it’s much easier to carry than cans. Just add some water.
The site ready.gov has some great general tips on other tips to stay safe during a winter storm, including a checklist of emergency items.