It is increasingly likely the Asheville area will experience some effects from Hurricane Irma. A record breaking storm for the Atlantic Ocean, Irma has brought heavy wind and rains to several islands in the Caribbean and the coast of Florida. We know homeowners and Asheville residents are busy preparing their homes and families for the storm, so we want to help you make sure your pets and animals are ready as well.
1) Identify Potential Wind and Water Hazards
We will not experience the brunt of the wind and rain here in the mountains; however, depending on the exact track of Irma, we could experience high wind gusts, especially in high elevation areas and down in the valleys. In addition to damaging wind gusts, flash flooding and landslides will be a concern if we receive excess rain.
Both inside your home and out in your yard, identify potential hazards for your pets and family:
- Precarious trees and tree limbs hanging over dog houses, chicken coops, and barns
- Creeks, streams, rivers, and poor drainage areas
- Loose lawn furniture and decorations
- Electrical wiring that could be affected by wind and debris
- Indoor and garage hazards: chemicals, electrical wires, gas, etc.
2) Make Sure You Have Access to Clean Water
If electricity goes out for your home, you do not want to rely on rainwater for your pets and animals. If you use a pump with an electric well, make sure you are well stocked with clean drinking water for you and your pets. Furthermore, make a list of shelters and distributing centers for water bottle and ice donations.
3) Prepare for Post-Tropical Storm Heat and Humidity
Once hurricanes and tropical storms pass through an area, they leave behind a “sinking air” effect that leads to increased heat and humidity. We have been treated to excellent, autumn temperatures for the past several days, so make sure you are prepared for a potential heat wave following the storm. Your pets and animals will need to stay cool, even if your electricity fails for a period of time.
4) Make Arrangements for Horses and Other Large Animals
If you are concerned about the potential for your barns and livestock shelters to flood or fail due to wind damage, make sure you make arrangements for them before the storm. With our varying terrain, flash flooding can develop quickly in the Asheville area, to devastating effects. Furthermore, we should always be mindful of the potential for landslides and rockslides.
5) Bring Your Dogs and Cats Inside
As the wind and rain moves in, bring your dogs and cats inside your home for shelter. The interior of your home will be safest for you and your family. Intensity of the storm will fluctuate from Monday evening into Tuesday, so remain vigilant and weather-aware until the storm has passed.
If you have questions about pet and animal care during tropical storms, or any other concerns regarding pet health, give us a call. Avery Creek Pet Hospital has a long history of helping pets and serving their owners in the Arden and Asheville areas.