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How to keep your beloved pets safe as Storm Bella batters the UK

Flooded street in UK dog-cat-serious
© Unsplash

As Storm Bella rips through parts of the UK, forcing people to abandon their homes, what can pet owners do to ensure their beloved animals stay safe?

By Zoë Monk

Published on the 29/12/2020, 21:00, Updated on the 08/02/2021, 13:23

Storm Bella hit the UK on Boxing Day, battering parts of the country with over 100mph winds. 

As the Met Office issue flood warnings across England, many Brits have been forced to evacuate their homes. But what happens if you have a pet? How can you keep them safe when facing flooding in your area? 

Be prepared!

  • Those forced to abandon their homes because of Storm Bella will likely end up at a local shelter. However, many emergency shelters don't allow animals. Therefore, before disaster strikes, it's a good idea to phone your local authority to determine its policy. 
  • While you should make sure you are stocked-up with their food and medicines, it's also crucial that cats and dogs have identity tags and a microchip with your up-to-date contact details. That way if they do get separated from you, you have a better chance of being reunited with them. 
  • Stay up-to-date with the latest warnings in your area by checking your local TV, radio and www.environment-agency.gov.uk or call Floodline on 0845 988 1188.

Act fast during a weather warning

  • Ideally, if you live in one of the areas likely to be affected by Storm Bella, take them to a friend or relative who lives outside the risk area where they can stay until the danger in your area has passed.
  • Bring your small pets inside and keep them upstairs if possible.
  • Put your pets' food, bedding and water bowls in a safe and dry place while making sure their pet carriers are at hand, just in case. 
  • If you must leave your home, make sure you transport your cats in an appropriate carrier and your dog on a strong lead. Take your pets' food, bowls and bedding with you. 
  • If you must leave your pets at home, shut them inside an upstairs room with plenty of food and water. Put a notice on the front and back door stating there are pets inside and contact your local Flood Warden or RSPCA to notify them. 

While you undoubtedly love your pets, you should never put your life in danger to save them.

Watch also: Heavy flooding in Crete destroys dog shelters