When disaster such as floods, cyclones or bushfires strike it is important to have an emergency plan in place. It is important that this plan includes your pets. Certain steps before, during and after a disaster will help to ensure the safety of your pets.

Before a disaster:

What to include in your emergency plan for your pets:

Emergency Pet Planning

Ensure you know the local emergency plans to determine what the arrangements there are for temporary shelter of your pets during disaster. Remember that not all evacuation shelters take pets, so your plan should also include others options such as friends and family; pet-friendly hotels/motels; or boarding animals at kennels or veterinary clinics.  Ensure your pets vaccinations and vaccination records are up-to-date as many places will require this.  If an evacuation centre does allow animals, it may also require proper identification and proof of vaccination.

In your emergency plan include these numbers for your pet:

  • Your vet
  • Emergency/after hours vet
  • Local animal welfare agency
  • Pet information and advisory services

Prepare your pet:

  • Ensure your pets vaccinations are up-to-date
  • Ensure your pets are micro-chipped
  • Ensure your pets are registered with your local council
  • Ensure your pet has an identification tag
  • Make sure that your keep your details on the registration, micro-chip and identification tag up-to-date at all times.

Prepare a Pet Emergency Kit:

Include the following items in your pet emergency kit.

  • Pet food for 3 days in an airtight , water proof container and food & water bowls
  • Water for 3 days
  • Pet medicines & first aid supplies
  • Vaccination, registration, adoption papers & medical records in plastic bag or water proof container.
  • Travel crate or other pet carrier: make sure these are located in a readily available location (near an exit or pet's rest area) and are functional.
  • Ensure your animal is trained to spend extended periods of time in their carrier so they do not become more stressed during an emergency.
  • For cats – cat litter, litter tray, paper towels, newspaper, plastic trash bag & cleaning supplies.
  • Poo bags
  • Collars, leads, harness
  • Familiar items; toys, treats and blankets
  • Photos of you and your pet in plastic bag or waterproof container - for identification purposes.

Plan with your neighbours, friends or family about evacuating your pet if you are unable to do so yourself. Tell them about your emergency plan and your pet emergency kit.

During a disaster:

It is important that you move your pets to a safe place as early as possible, before any danger arises. Ideally pets should not be left behind unless it is impossible to evacuate them, as pets left behind can get lost and injured. Remember too that last minute evacuations are dangerous, putting yourself and your pets safety at risk.

Stay Informed – being aware of your situation and changes that may be taking place such as road blocks, is important for a safe evacuation.

If you are forced to leave your pets ensure that you leave adequate food and water.

After a disaster:

Take care when releasing them as your surroundings may have changed due to the disaster. Your pet may be disorientated, frightened or even aggressive. Where possible release them into a confined area where they can not escape or hurt themselves. Do not allow your cats or dogs to roam loose as your pet may become lost or disorientated.

Disasters can strike quite unexpectedly - so having a plan and being prepared is the best chance you have to keep your extended family safe from harm.

We hope you never have to put your emergency plan into action.