Prepare your pets

These simple preparatory steps will ensure your animals are prepared for and survive an emergeny event.

Keep your pet's ID tag, microchip or leg band, and council registration up-to-date with your current contact details.

Ensure identification tags are up-to-date and securely fastened to your pet's collar. If possible, attach the address and/or phone number of your evacuation site. If your pet gets lost, their tag is their ticket home. Ensure you have a current photo of your pet for identification purposes. Domestic cats and dogs should have current council registration tags, implanted microchip, or for birds a leg band.

Keep a pet carrier, leash, or harness close-at-hand; check if your local evacuation centre will accept pets (if not, leave your pet with out-of-town friends if you evacuate).

If you're considering moving animals to a safer place, do so early to avoid unnecessary risk. Use a secure pet carrier or cage, leash, or harness to move any animals to safety. Animal behaviour can change before, during, and after an emergency and such devices may be required to calm the animal down and to keep them safe from harm.

Check with your local pet store for a small tank to transport your fish in with attached battery operated aerator. A battery operated aerator, and bucket, of the type used by fisherman to keep live bait alive will also be adequate. If you have no other option put your fish into a large wide necked jar, two-thirds filled, with a secure lid and aerate by gently blowing through a straw. Remove the lid when stationary to allow for some air saturation.

In most cases, trained assistance dogs will be allowed to stay in emergency shelters with their owners.  Those that are accepted may require proper identification and proof of vaccination. Check with your local council for more information.

If you evacuate, take enough food, water, medication, cat litter, with you.

While the sun is still shining, consider packing a pet survival kit that could be easily deployed if disaster hits. Take pet food, bottled water, medications, veterinary records, cat litter and tray, can opener, food dishes, treats, first aid kit, and other supplies (for up to two weeks) with you in case they are not available later.

Copy your pet's health records for your Household Emergency Kit.

If you are unable to return to your home right away, you may need to board your pet. Most boarding kennels, veterinarians, and animal shelters will need your pet's medical records to make sure all vaccinations are current. Include copies in your Household Emergency Kit along with a photo of your pet, for easy identification.

Check with vets, RSPCA, animal welfare groups, and your local council about whether any Emergency Pet Shelters are to be established during disaster events. Add the contact details to your Emergency Plan.