News: Hurricane preparedness for pets

Published Sun June 14, 2020

Busy storm season predicted.

June 1 was the beginning of hurricane season which lasts all the way through November. Given the weather disturbances we Hurricane graphichave already had in May, this year is setting up to a busy season. It is so important for pet owners to prepare in advance for their pets in the event of a disaster, even more so now due to COVID-19. Our friends at FEMA offer some great tips, along with a few of our own, on how to keep you and your pets safe.

Keep in mind that any ability that we have to accommodate pet friendly shelters this season will be more limited due to larger spacing requirements, the need for constant sanitation, etc.  Please never “plan” to stay at a shelter, but always create your own plan in advance so that you and your pets can stay safe.

If you have questions about how to prepare for your pets, please call Osceola County Animal Services at 407-742-8000.

Preparing Your Pets for Emergencies:

As communities around the country follow stay-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines to help slow the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), many people may have welcomed new pets into their homes! While enjoying quality time with your pets, we encourage you to prepare by considering your pet in your emergency planning.

Consider the following to ensure that you and your pets are prepared in case of an emergency:

  • Include your pets in your emergency plans. Remember that what is typically best for you is typically best for your pet, too;

  • Build a separate emergency kit for your pets. Ensure you include food, water, medicine, a favorite toy, and other essential items;

  • Be sure to keep digital records, such as medical and veterinary information, and pictures that you can use to identify your pet after a disaster in case you become separated; and

  • Create a list of places, such as pet-friendly hotels, boarding facilities, or veterinary offices, that accept pets if an emergency happens and you need to leave your home. Keep in mind that, with the current COVID-19 pandemic, many hotels or shelters may be operating under new guidelines. Be sure to research current rules for our area.

  • Make sure your pet wears a county license tag at all times to help ensure safe return to you in the event he/she becomes lost.

  • Microchipping is a great secondary way to identify your pets. We strongly encourage microchipping. Now would be the perfect time to ensure your contact information associated with your pet’s microchip is up to date!

  • It is recommended that you sign up for Alert Osceola and get informed about emergencies and other important community news. This system enables Osceola County officials to provide you with critical information quickly in a variety of situations, such as severe weather, unexpected road closures, missing persons and evacuations of buildings or neighborhoods. You will receive time-sensitive messages wherever you specify, such as your home, mobile or business phones, email address, text messages and more. You pick where, you pick how. Click the button below to sign up.

Alert Osceola banner and link

To learn more about pet preparedness and find tips and tools for both pet and large animal owners, please visit, or click on this line.


In this information piece, Shelter Volunteer/Community Outreach Coordinator Tami Solano has information on how you can prepare a hurricane kit for your pet so that everyone is prepared for the Hurricane season.

Disaster Preparedness