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Emergency planning for your pets is an important part of your household emergency preparation. Whether it is a bushfire, flood or in case you have become ill or are injured, it’s important that you plan for your pet’s care in emergencies.
It is all about:
3. Putting it into Practice
1. Start the conversation. Discuss your emergency plan with your family. If you ever have to evacuate your home, or you become ill, who will care for your pets and where?
2. Where will your pets stay? This might be a boarding facility, or in the case of an evacuation with a family member or friend located in a safe area or at a community emergency shelter. If relocating your pets to a boarding facility or shelter keep in mind that the premises may have specific requirements. For example, boarding facilities require that pets are up to date with vaccinations. Also note that not all public shelters allow pets, so it is best to have a backup plan.
3. Prepare a “Caring for My Pets” information sheet and print this out. (Download our free template here) If a family member or friend is looking after your pets at their home or yours (if the emergency does not require relocation e.g., bushfire or flood), preparing a document that helps explain how to look after your pets is very useful. Include things like:
4. Ensure you have a collar, ID tag (and Council registration tag for dogs) on your pets. Make sure the tag has your details and the details of a backup contact just in case they are unable to contact you.
5. Make sure your pet’s registration and microchip details are up to date with current contact details.
6. Train pets to become accustomed to car trips and that they can settle in a crate or pen if relocation is required.
7. Keep your pet’s vaccination up to date and know where your vaccination history card is.
Prepare your Pet’s Evacuation Kit or “Go Bag” and keep this somewhere you or a friend can locate quickly. Things to include:
Share your emergency plan with neighbours and friends so they know what you have planned.
There are a number of items you can include in your pet first aid kit but it is always best to speak with your vet to find out specifically what you should include in your kit. Your pet’s age and lifestyle may affect what is needed in their kit. Below are some general suggestions:
If you want to purchase a Pet First Aid Kit ready to go have a look at the St Johns Ambulance Pet First Aid Kit which can be purchased online. Proceeds help support local communities too!
Dog First Aid Tasmania also supply these Pet Aid kits and offer Pet First Aid course occasionally too.
If you must evacuate:
1. Stay informed. Being aware of the current emergency situation and changes will help you make better informed decisions.
2. Keep your smaller pets contained within the home at the first sign of an emergency or concern so they are close at hand if /when you make the decision to go
3. Phone ahead and confirm arrangements with the safe location you have arranged for your pets as part of your emergency plan.
4. Locate and check your Pet Emergency Kit is up to date. Have it at hand to pack in your car if need be.
5. Consider relocating your pets before the critical situation arises.