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Washington, D.C – Tornadoes are among the most terrifying and destructive natural phenomena – and they rarely give much warning. Having an emergency plan for your entire family – including your pets, is critical in staying safe during a tornado or severe storm. The experts at American Humane Association have put together a series of 10 tips to help 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 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.

About American Humane Association

Since 1877 the historic American Humane Association has been at the forefront of virtually every major advance in protecting children, pets and farm animals. Today we’re also leading the way in understanding human-animal interaction and its role in society. As the nation’s voice for the protection of children and animals, American Humane Association reaches millions of people every day through groundbreaking research, education, training and services that span a wide network of organizations, agencies and businesses. You can help make a difference, too. Visit American Humane Association at www.americanhumane.org today.

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