In emergency situations, pets are often the most vulnerable member of the family. It’s important to consider what will happen to our pets in the event of a natural disaster.

This means thinking about what plans you can put in place now to make sure your pet is cared for if you were unable to get home, or what you would do with your pet if you had to evacuate.

RSPCA South Australia's video below shows you why it's so important to have a pet emergency plan in place.

 

Pet Emergency Plan

Include pets in your household emergency and evacuation plan

Planning ahead before a natural disaster strikes will save you valuable time that could save the life of your pet. Your household’s emergency and evacuation plan should be tailored to the number and type of animals you care for.

There are many things you should consider when including pets in your emergency and evacuation plan. You should also talk to your vet to see if there are any other considerations they recommend specific to your pet.

Hover over the interactive dots below or expand the checklist to find out what plans you need to put in place for your pet.

People sitting with dog
Research a safe place to take your pets

If evacuation is required during a disaster, taking your pet with you or relocating your pet to an alternative location is the best way to protect them. Make a plan for where you could take them, keeping in mind that pets may not be allowed in evacuation shelters unless they are a service animal. Check with family and friends who live outside your local area to see if they would be able to look after your pets if you needed to evacuate. If moving animals to a safer place, do so early to avoid unnecessary risk and ensure they have access to plenty of food and water.

54.00%
61.00%
Map on laptop icon
Transport options

Have contingencies or arrangements in place for transporting animals in emergencies. This extends to livestock where access to horse floats and trucks should be considered.

26.00%
60.00%
Pet lead icon
If you are unable to get home

In the event you are unable to get home during a natural disaster, pre-arrange with friends who live close by or neighbours to collect and care for your pets at their place until you are able to return or be reunited.

45.00%
37.00%
Person holding electronic device
ID your pet

Have your pet microchipped and registered with your local council. Have them wear a collar with up-to-date contact information and identification at all times.

81.00%
64.00%
Dog icon
Pack a pet emergency kit

Have a pet emergency kit ready to go to save you time during emergencies.

86.00%
35.00%
Pet case icon
Identify a safe place at home

If you have to leave your pets behind, ideally leave them indoors in separate rooms with small or preferably no windows (e.g. a bathroom or laundry) and provide adequate food and water in large heavy bowls. If left outside do not tie them up. When you have to wait out a severe weather event at home, identify a safe area where you can all stay together (e.g. bathroom or laundry) and secure animals so they don’t take flight.

23.00%
19.00%
Exit icon
Pet advice

Talk to your vet about any special considerations for your pet.

43.00%
69.00%
Pet medical record icon
Research a safe place to take your pets

If evacuation is required during a disaster, taking your pet with you or relocating your pet to an alternative location is the best way to protect them. Make a plan for where you could take them, keeping in mind that pets may not be allowed in evacuation shelters unless they are a service animal. Check with family and friends who live outside your local area to see if they would be able to look after your pets if you needed to evacuate. If moving animals to a safer place, do so early to avoid unnecessary risk and ensure they have access to plenty of food and water.

54.00%
61.00%
Map on laptop icon
Transport options

Have contingencies or arrangements in place for transporting animals in emergencies. This extends to livestock where access to horse floats and trucks should be considered.

26.00%
60.00%
Pet lead icon
If you are unable to get home

In the event you are unable to get home during a natural disaster, pre-arrange with friends who live close by or neighbours to collect and care for your pets at their place until you are able to return or be reunited.

45.00%
37.00%
Person holding electronic device
ID your pet

Have your pet microchipped and registered with your local council. Have them wear a collar with up-to-date contact information and identification at all times.

81.00%
64.00%
Dog icon
Pack a pet emergency kit

Have a pet emergency kit ready to go to save you time during emergencies.

86.00%
35.00%
Pet case icon
Identify a safe place at home

If you have to leave your pets behind, ideally leave them indoors in separate rooms with small or preferably no windows (e.g. a bathroom or laundry) and provide adequate food and water in large heavy bowls. If left outside do not tie them up. When you have to wait out a severe weather event at home, identify a safe area where you can all stay together (e.g. bathroom or laundry) and secure animals so they don’t take flight.

23.00%
19.00%
Exit icon
Pet advice

Talk to your vet about any special considerations for your pet.

43.00%
69.00%
Pet medical record icon
Research a safe place to take your pets

If evacuation is required during a disaster, taking your pet with you or relocating your pet to an alternative location is the best way to protect them. Make a plan for where you could take them, keeping in mind that pets may not be allowed in evacuation shelters unless they are a service animal. Check with family and friends who live outside your local area to see if they would be able to look after your pets if you needed to evacuate. If moving animals to a safer place, do so early to avoid unnecessary risk and ensure they have access to plenty of food and water.

54.00%
61.00%
Map on laptop icon
Transport options

Have contingencies or arrangements in place for transporting animals in emergencies. This extends to livestock where access to horse floats and trucks should be considered.

26.00%
60.00%
Pet lead icon
If you are unable to get home

In the event you are unable to get home during a natural disaster, pre-arrange with friends who live close by or neighbours to collect and care for your pets at their place until you are able to return or be reunited.

45.00%
37.00%
Person holding electronic device
ID your pet

Have your pet microchipped and registered with your local council. Have them wear a collar with up-to-date contact information and identification at all times.

81.00%
64.00%
Dog icon
Pack a pet emergency kit

Have a pet emergency kit ready to go to save you time during emergencies.

86.00%
35.00%
Pet case icon
Identify a safe place at home

If you have to leave your pets behind, ideally leave them indoors in separate rooms with small or preferably no windows (e.g. a bathroom or laundry) and provide adequate food and water in large heavy bowls. If left outside do not tie them up. When you have to wait out a severe weather event at home, identify a safe area where you can all stay together (e.g. bathroom or laundry) and secure animals so they don’t take flight.

23.00%
19.00%
Exit icon
Pet advice

Talk to your vet about any special considerations for your pet.

43.00%
69.00%
Pet medical record icon

Prepare your pet emergency kit

Get ready before the next disaster hits and pack a bag or box of necessities for your pet to last at least five days, so that you can act quickly during an emergency.

Hover over the interactive dots below or expand the checklist to find out what you need to include.

 

Pet emergency kit icons
Food and water

Food and bottled water for at least five days. Including feeding bowls and a can opener.

15.00%
37.00%
Dog food icon
Medicines

Medicines with clear instructions, medical records and first aid.

19.00%
57.00%
Medication icon
Collar and leash

Collar with ID tag and leash.

16.00%
82.00%
Dog collar and lead icon
Bedding

Blankets, bedding or nesting materials.

48.00%
46.00%
Pet dog bed icon
Shelter coverage

Birds and pocket pets need shelter coverage for their enclosure.

55.00%
62.00%
Birdcage icon
Pet carrier

Have carry boxes (for smaller pets), leads (for dogs) and halters (for livestock) readily accessible.

50.00%
80.00%
Pet carrier icon
Sanitation

Litter tray, litter, waste bags and cleaning products.

76.00%
40.00%
Litter tray icon
Insurance

Consider whether pet insurance is right for you and have relevant paperwork in your emergency kit.

82.00%
66.00%
Insurance icon
Important documents

Vaccination and registration documentation plus current photos of you and your pet in a waterproof bag.

75.00%
81.00%
Pet paperwork
Assistance and service animals

Evidence that your pet is a service animal and appropriately trained to access public areas.

94.00%
36.00%
Service dog card icon
Emergency contact list

Contact details for your veterinarian, local animal shelter, local council and alternative animal accommodation facility.

96.00%
50.00%
Pet contact list
Toys

Favourite toys that bring comfort.

93.00%
82.00%
Pet toys
Food and water

Food and bottled water for at least five days. Including feeding bowls and a can opener.

15.00%
37.00%
Dog food icon
Medicines

Medicines with clear instructions, medical records and first aid.

19.00%
57.00%
Medication icon
Collar and leash

Collar with ID tag and leash.

16.00%
82.00%
Dog collar and lead icon
Bedding

Blankets, bedding or nesting materials.

48.00%
46.00%
Pet dog bed icon
Shelter coverage

Birds and pocket pets need shelter coverage for their enclosure.

55.00%
62.00%
Birdcage icon
Pet carrier

Have carry boxes (for smaller pets), leads (for dogs) and halters (for livestock) readily accessible.

50.00%
80.00%
Pet carrier icon
Sanitation

Litter tray, litter, waste bags and cleaning products.

76.00%
40.00%
Litter tray icon
Insurance

Consider whether pet insurance is right for you and have relevant paperwork in your emergency kit.

82.00%
66.00%
Insurance icon
Important documents

Vaccination and registration documentation plus current photos of you and your pet in a waterproof bag.

75.00%
81.00%
Pet paperwork
Assistance and service animals

Evidence that your pet is a service animal and appropriately trained to access public areas.

94.00%
36.00%
Service dog card icon
Emergency contact list

Contact details for your veterinarian, local animal shelter, local council and alternative animal accommodation facility.

96.00%
50.00%
Pet contact list
Toys

Favourite toys that bring comfort.

93.00%
82.00%
Pet toys
Food and water

Food and bottled water for at least five days. Including feeding bowls and a can opener.

15.00%
37.00%
Dog food icon
Medicines

Medicines with clear instructions, medical records and first aid.

19.00%
57.00%
Medication icon
Collar and leash

Collar with ID tag and leash.

16.00%
82.00%
Dog collar and lead icon
Bedding

Blankets, bedding or nesting materials.

48.00%
46.00%
Pet dog bed icon
Shelter coverage

Birds and pocket pets need shelter coverage for their enclosure.

55.00%
62.00%
Birdcage icon
Pet carrier

Have carry boxes (for smaller pets), leads (for dogs) and halters (for livestock) readily accessible.

50.00%
80.00%
Pet carrier icon
Sanitation

Litter tray, litter, waste bags and cleaning products.

76.00%
40.00%
Litter tray icon
Insurance

Consider whether pet insurance is right for you and have relevant paperwork in your emergency kit.

82.00%
66.00%
Insurance icon
Important documents

Vaccination and registration documentation plus current photos of you and your pet in a waterproof bag.

75.00%
81.00%
Pet paperwork
Assistance and service animals

Evidence that your pet is a service animal and appropriately trained to access public areas.

94.00%
36.00%
Service dog card icon
Emergency contact list

Contact details for your veterinarian, local animal shelter, local council and alternative animal accommodation facility.

96.00%
50.00%
Pet contact list
Toys

Favourite toys that bring comfort.

93.00%
82.00%
Pet toys

More tips from the RSPCA Queensland

RSPCA Queensland provides some helpful advice below to some issues that your pets may face during and after Queensland's most common natural disasters.

Cat sitting next to picture of dog
Pets aren’t always the most cooperative family members, particularly during a severe weather event when they are likely to be feeling frightened and anxious. RSPCA Queensland advises that you should practice your plan and familiarise your pets with any new items in their emergency kit so you are ready for when the next natural disaster hits.
Man playing violin to donkey
After a disaster your home may be very different from the way you left it, making it hard for your pets to adjust back into their normal routine. RSPCA Queensland offer some advice to consider before bringing your pet back home following a serious disaster.
Person and dog on beach
In summer, animals need constant access to both water and shade to keep cool, hydrated and safe. RSPCA Queensland offers some tips to help your pet cool down during summer.
Dog looking scared
Storms can be terrifyingly frightening and loud experiences for pets. If you can, it’s best to stay home with your pet during a storm or fireworks. RSPCA Queensland offers tips and advice on how you can help your pet get used to thunderstorms and feel safe and secure.

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