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Tornado Tips to Keep Your Pets Safe

Tornado Tips to Keep Your Pets Safe

We have all watched the recent destruction from the tornadoes that have hit the midwest. An emergency plan is very important and pets should be included in your plan. Following the recent disaster that struck Joplin, Missouri, the experts at American Humane Association have put together a series of tips to help you plan for your family and your pets before, during and after a tornado strikes:
Before a tornado:

  • Identify a tornado-safe area large enough for your entire family and pets (often a basement or the most interior room of the house on the bottom floor).
  • Practice getting the entire family to the tornado-safe area quickly during calm weather.
  • Make your tornado-safe area pet-friendly by removing any dangerous items such as tools or toxic products.
  • Keep your family and pet preparedness kits in your tornado-safe area or close by. Ensure that you have a crate for every animal.
  • Know your pet’s hiding places and how to quickly and safely extricate them. Eliminate any unsafe hiding areas from which it may be difficult to remove your animal in a hurry.

During a tornado:

  • If an evacuation is possible, take your pets with you. Make sure you take your pet preparedness kit and that your animals have proper identification.
  • If you cannot evacuate, take your entire family — including pets (both indoor and out) — to your tornado-safe room.
  • Pets should be put in crates or carriers in the safe room. If possible, place the crates under a sturdy piece of furniture.

After the storm has passed, use caution in allowing your pets and other family members outdoors.

  • Exit only AFTER the entire storm has passed.
  • Assess the damage yourself first before bringing your pets outside with you.
  • Keep your dogs on a leash and cats in a carrier.
  • Watch for objects that could cause injury or harm to your pet.
  • Allow them to become re-oriented. Familiar scents and landmarks may be altered and cause your pet confusion or to become lost.
  • Keep pets away from food or water or liquids that could be contaminated from the storm.
  • Keep pets away from downed power lines and debris.


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Photo credit: Gianni Testore

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6:27AM PST on Mar 4, 2012

Thx for posting

3:17AM PDT on Jul 21, 2011

Thank you for the info.

2:05AM PDT on Jul 3, 2011

The tornado in Joplin was 14 miles long and not six miles. thought nice article given see here !

11:05PM PDT on Jun 29, 2011

A huge worry for those who live in prone areas..good article..thanks.

10:14PM PDT on Jun 29, 2011

Good tips.

11:46AM PDT on Jun 29, 2011

this is something that i worry about often because i live in an upstairs apartment with my two kitties. fortunately, the area that i live in does not see tornadoes like, ever, but neither did some of the areas that were hit recently... my plan is to take cover in the stairwell...i don't know if that's really safe or not?

8:14PM PDT on Jun 28, 2011

Thanks Aimee G., but I too live in Tornado Alley. In Wisconsin. Hi Krista dear, well calm weather for awhile now. I keep my Basement bag packed, then I just gotta grab my dog Dottie and head down the stairs to the spiders and sewerage but it's better than facing that Demon called tornados.

4:46PM PDT on Jun 28, 2011

Thanks for the advice.

1:52AM PDT on Jun 28, 2011

Fortunately, in Dublin we don't have tornados either... But I hope this is helpful for any affected!

12:30PM PDT on Jun 27, 2011

Thank you, very helpful information!!

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