With the cyclone season upon us, many of you will have checked and restocked your emergency kits, but did you consider your pet’s needs?

Cyclones can be frightening not only for humans but also for pets. The animals in our lives depend solely on us for their safety and well-being so a well thought out emergency plan which includes your pets can reduce the risks and ensure the safety of all family members.

Prepare your pet for cyclone season.

  • Ensure you record the contact phone numbers and addresses of your vet, local animal welfare organisations such as the RSPCA and the local Council Animal Control Office in your home disaster plan.
  • Ensure you have adequate restraint for your pet whether large or small. In your emergency kit keep a quality lead or for smaller animals a sturdy pet carrier which is labelled with your pet’s name, breed, sex, date of birth, your current address and contact details and any important medical information. It also needs to be large enough for your pet to stand and turn around as it can also be used as a safe shelter for your pet during the storm.
  • Annual vaccinations are essential to keeping your pet healthy and ensuring immunity from deadly diseases so make certain your pet has up to date vaccinations.
  • Be sure your pet can be easily identified if lost or separated from you during a cyclone by ensuring they have a current registration tag or collar tag and a second method of identification such as an implanted microchip. A microchip gives peace of mind and means you can be easily reunited.
  • In case your pet is lost it is also good to keep a current photo of your pet with your emergency plan.
  • Ensure you have two weeks supply of water, food and any medications that may be needed for each pet.

Pets also need a safe refuge. Prepare an easily cleaned room, such as a bathroom or laundry, ideally with minimal windows and if possible a naturally quiet room located towards the centre of the house. Provide lots of blankets for comfort and a supply of newspapers for toileting needs.

If you do have to leave your pet at home alone during a cyclone threat remember to leave a note either inside the front door of the property or on the outside of the door where the pet is contained. State how many pets are contained on the property, what kind of pets they are and where they can be found.

After a cyclone threat has passed, ensure any damage has been assessed before releasing animals as they may be frightened or disorientated.

We hope that we won’t have to test our cyclone preparation this year, but should the worse happen, it’s good to know that you are prepared and have a well thought out plan.