An emergency could happen at any time. It’s critical you prepare now to ensure your animals are protected from disasters that may place your animals in danger, including bushfires, extreme weather and storms. We hope the information below is helpful and encourages you to not only prepare for an evacuation now, but implement a practice run through of your emergency evacuation plan before it’s needed. In the event of a disaster, you will need to act quickly so a strategic plan for your animals is critical.
Preparing your pets for evacuation
Does your pet’s microchip details have your current contact information including your mobile phone number? If the disaster affects your local area, is your microchip alternative contact in a different suburb? Microchips will help reunite you with lost dogs, cats and other animals if you become separated – confirm your pet’s details are up-to-date.
Does your pet have clear identification including name and council registration tags? Fear may cause your animal to behave differently in an emergency situation, particularly if it can smell smoke or hear a disaster approaching. It may escape despite your best efforts, so clear identification with your pet’s name and your mobile number is critical.
Is your pet fully vaccinated and wormed? Many boarding facilities will require proof of vaccination before accepting your pet for temporary accommodation.
Where will you evacuate your pet to? Determine where you will evacuate your pets to now, whether that is a friend’s property or a boarding facility at an animal welfare shelter in a low risk area. When considering a shelter as a refuge for your pet, it’s important to keep in mind summer is the busiest time of year for stray and abandoned animals and they may have limited capacity to assist.
Relocating your pet before a high risk day
Ensure your pet is contained when there is a high risk of emergency and consider relocating it as a precaution. It is safer to relocate your pet to temporary accommodation early rather than risking its safety.
Determining an emergency guardian
Identify someone close by who can action your evacuation plan if you are not home. This person may be a neighbour who is home during the day and a trusted person who you can leave keys with.
How will you transport your animals? Do you have a carry cage that is suitable for your small animals? Dogs and small animals should be kept with you (dogs on leads at all times) but cats are best relocated to temporary emergency accommodation for their own safety, such as a veterinary clinic, boarding facility or shelter.
What route will you take to drive there and what if that route is blocked? Consider various access routes to exit the dangerous zone in your suburb.
Assembling a pet emergency kit
Ensure you have an emergency kit packed to provide for your pet’s needs. Suggestions for the kit are:
Proof of vaccinations
Cages or pet carriers
Food and water
Litter box and litter
Blankets or bedding
Recent photographs of your pet
Tag, collars and leashes
If you have been advised by emergency services to stay in your home, it is crucial that you keep your pets with you and ensure your pet emergency kit is close at hand.
Remember planning will make the difference in saving your pet’s life.