Keeping Your Pet Safe in a Tornado | PetFirst
Keeping Your Pet Safe in a Tornado
Pet Care & Health

Keeping Your Pet Safe in a Tornado

by PetFirst Pet Insurance
3 months ago

Tornado season is approaching and it’s important to have a plan to keep your pets safe throughout this storm filled season.

We see tornados happen all over the country and they can be extremely dangerous and destructive. Each year, more than 1,000 tornadoes hit the U.S., and unfortunately, your pets aren’t exempt from the danger6.

To help keep your pet safe, we are sharing a few safety ideas you can consider following to help be better prepared before, during, and after a tornado.

Before A Tornado

There are a few things you may want to consider addressing now, before a tornado warning ever surfaces, to make sure you’re prepared when it does.

First, double check that your pet has both an ID tag and a microchip. This will ensure he or she can find their way back to you if they were to get lost after a tornado. The ID tag and microchip need to be kept updated with your current address and phone number. It’s also important to make sure your pet’s collar fits well and is secure. If the collar does come off, that’s what the microchip is for7

Next, look around in your home and find a safe space where you can take cover with your pet. This could be your basement, a windowless bathroom, or a closet — any room on the lowest floor of your home that doesn’t have any windows8. Your dog or cat might be scared if you suddenly bring them into a confined space during a storm, so do a trial run every couple of months to get them used to the location.

You may also want to consider creating an emergency kit for these types of emergencies. You can place the kit it in your safe space in case you pet needs something during a bad storm. This kit should at least include: 

  • Bottled water
  • Your pet’s food (a one to two-week supply)
  • An extra collar and leash
  • Cat litter and a pan
  • A blanket/towel
  • Extra medications 
  • First aid supplies
  • Your pet’s vaccination records
  • A list of any medications your pet takes regularly
  • Your veterinarian’s contact info
  • A photo of your pet in case you get separated 

When you’re gathering your pet’s vaccination records, check and make sure they’re up-to-date on all vaccinations. Most evacuation shelters that allow pets require the animals to be updated on their vaccinations. 

Finally, the last thing you should consider doing, is to speak with everyone in your family and create a plan of action that includes instructions on what to do if your pet escapes during or after a tornado. Once everyone is on the same page, you’ll be prepared when storm season comes around. 

During A Tornado

There’s a difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning. A tornado watch means there’s a good chance a tornado could form. A tornado warning means a tornado has been spotted. If your area is under a tornado watch, go ahead and bring your pets inside and keep them close to you. 

If the watch is upgraded to a tornado warning, proceed immediately with your family and pets to your safe location. Put your dog on a leash and/or your cat in its crate and bring them with you. Remember, consider rehearsing this ahead of time so your pet hopefully won’t be as frightened when it’s time to take cover during an active storm.

During this time, try your best to stay calm so your animals won’t pick up on your fear and can better remain calm as well. 

After A Tornado

When the tornado is gone, take your time as you come out of your safe room.

Don’t let your cat out of its crate or your dog off the leash until you’re sure the storm is over. Even then, your pet could still be scared and try to escape — and there are all kinds of potential hazards after a bad storm, like downed electrical lines or shattered glass9. Keep your dog or cat nearby until you are certain it is safe to let them go and to be sure that they are calm and unharmed. 

If your pet does happen to get loose, check with your neighbors, your local Humane Society, or animal shelter to see if you can find them. Tornadoes are a very real danger to humans and pets alike. Start preparing now so you can keep your family safe during this tornado season. 

Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.


1Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”) is the insurance carrier for this product. IAIC, a Delaware insurance company, is headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC to offer and administer pet insurance policies. This entity was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an assumed name and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other assumed names or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions. 

2Provided all terms of the policy are met. Like most insurance policies, insurance policies issued by IAIC contain certain exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force. For costs, complete details of coverage and exclusions, and a listing of approved states, please contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC.

6Policy Advice: 25+ must-know U.S. and worldwide tornado statistics for 2020, February 2, 2021, Smiljanic Stasha

7Red Rover: Tornado safety tips for pets, January 14, 2020 

8CDC: Staying safe in a tornado

9Dogster: 8 tips for keeping your dog safe during a tornado

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