Pets are family too

Kitten cuddles


Pets needs are often forgotten and left to the last minute because they don’t know how to remind you to plan for them too.

Understand that not all emergency shelters can safely accommodate animals so it’s best to plan ahead where you could take them. Ideally, getting them to a friend or relatives’ place well ahead of the threat is safest and least stressful even if you intend to stay and actively defend your home.

If you are staying home or it’s too late to evacuate contain them in one room of the house ensuring it is cool and easy to clean, with water and bedding. The laundry or bathroom is a good choice. Check in on them and their safety regularly and make sure they don’t escape.

This is a short list of common things that dogs and cats might need:

  • Lead with harness or collar
  • Carry box / travel crate
  • Food and water with bowls
  • Medications
  • Spare towels
  • Poop bags
  • A familiar smelling blanket, bed or toy to help ease anxiety.

Make sure they are microchipped and wear a tag with your contact number on it.

Different pets have different needs, practice packing their stuff as if you were taking them on a weekend camping or visit to a friend or relative’s place. You know them best and will no doubt learn a lot from the practice run. This topic is also covered in our Personal Grab Bag page, pop over there for extra perspective.

If you’ve got a different pet, perhaps you’d like to become a contributor, write up and send us a list of what you’d take to take care of your buddy.

It’s important for the well being of the whole family that everyone knows that everyone else is safe and looked after. Involve the kids in the planning too.

For more information download the RFS Fire Safety for your Pets fact sheet.

Find out about pet first aid and carry basic supplies, keep the contact details of your vet and keep WIRES (1300 094 737) in case you rescue any natives caught up in the emergency.

Another interesting resource is Vets Without Borders, who have information on pet evacuation, first aid and other resources for emergency preparedness.