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Pet-friendly hurricane shelters in Northwest Florida

Photo source: FEMA

Hurricanes aren't just a hazard for people. For many of us, pets are a priority. That's especially true during a disaster like a hurricane.

Chris Neal with B.R.A.C.E. keeps an official pet survival kit on hand to show people what to pack to keep their animals safe and healthy during an emergency. First, food and water. Two weeks worth is ideal, and a can opener if needed. Neal keeps pouches of water in his kit and collapsible bowls for ease of travel.

Proof of vaccinations is crucial, along with harnesses and leashes, muzzles if needed, clean up supplies including puppy pads, paper towels and spray cleaner -- and two weeks worth of medications. For cats, a litter pan, extra litter, scooper and plastic bags.

Molino Park Elementary is the only pet-friendly hurricane shelter designated in Escambia County, Florida.

Chris Neal said, "They do only accept dogs and cats. They do need to be vaccinated and you do need to have a type of kennel for them to stay in. Animals will be separate but you'll be able to go back as the weather is permitting that."

For direction and tips on managing livestock and horses during a hurricane, head to MyEscambia.com.

Santa Rosa County has a pet-friendly shelter at Avalon Middle School, and in Okaloosa County, the Raider Arena and Davidson Middle have pet areas. Check with county emergency management for registration procedures.


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