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Keeping Your Pets Safe During Severe Weather

Updated: Apr 14, 2023

Have an emergency plan for your pets.

Those of us living in Middle Tennessee are unfortunately all too familiar with unpredictable and severe weather. Just this past weekend, we experienced a historic tornado outbreak, including 14* confirmed tornadoes in the Middle Tennessee area. We have seen the terrible devastation caused by the tornadoes that tore across the South and Midwest – including our area – and our hearts go out to all who have been impacted by this storm.

(*at the time of this posting, National Weather Service surveys are still ongoing.) When there is a chance for severe weather, it's important to do everything that we can to prepare.

NashSevereWx, Nashville's Department of Emergency Management, and the National Weather Service offer some great resources and tips for keeping you and your loved ones safe during severe weather, including the difference between a "watch" and a "warning" and what you should do during each.

As important members of the family, you can take precautions to keep pets safe, too. Here is a checklist to help you be prepared when a storm is coming:

  • Pet essentials for your "safe place": Water, bowl, food, treats, long-lasting chews, toys, medications.

  • Have a mat or a crate and blankets set up ahead of time in your "safe place". As we know, storms can pop up quickly, and having it ready ahead of time will prevent you from scrambling at the last minute. You may consider moving your pets to your "safe place" even before a warning is issued.

  • Have cats crated and dogs either crated or on leash.

  • Practice going down to your tornado shelter or safe place with all of your pets so they are used to it.

  • Consider getting a GPS collar for your pets.

  • Ensure all your pets have ID collars on them in case you are separated.

  • Assign each adult in your home a pet when sheltering.

By planning ahead, you can be "prepared, not scared" and keep your family – including the four-legged ones – as safe as possible.

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