ARE YOUR PETS PART OF YOUR EMERGENCY PLAN?
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.
Follow these tips to prepare your pet for cyclone season
In your home disaster plan, 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.
Ensure you have adequate restraint for your pet.
For cats, small dogs and small furry pets a sturdy pet carrier which is large enough for your pet to stand and turn around in is essential. They also can be used as a safe shelter for your pet during the storm. Be sure to label the carrier with your pets name, breed, sex, date of birth, your current address and contact details and any important medical information.
For larger dogs ensure you have a good quality lead in your emergency kit.
Make certain your pet has up to date vaccinations – annual vaccinations are essential to keeping your pet healthy and ensuring immunity from deadly diseases.
Be sure your pet has a current registration tag/collar tag and a second method of identification such as an implanted microchip. Microchips give piece of mind that if you and your pet get separated during a cyclone, your pet can be easily identified if lost and reunited with you.
Keep a current photo of your pet with your emergency plan in case your pet is lost.
For each pet ensure you have two weeks supply of water, food and any medications that may be needed.
Before the storm, prepare an easily cleaned room such as a bathroom or laundry for your pet. If possible it’s best to choose a room that is naturally quiet and located towards the centre of the house. Ideally a room with minimal windows is recommended. This creates a safe refuge for your pet to go to during the storm. Provide a supply of newspapers for toileting needs and lots of blankets for comfort.
Remember if you have to leave your pet home alone during the cyclone threat leave a note inside the front door of the property or on the outside of the door where the pet is contained stating how many pets are contained on the property, what kind of pets they are and where they can be found.
After the cyclone threat has passed keep pets inside until any damage has been assessed and be careful when releasing animals as they may be frightened or disorientated.
We hope that we won’t have to test our cyclone preparation this year, but in the event of a cyclone, it’s good to know that you are prepared and have a well thought-out plan should the worst happen.