With the bushfire and flood season upon us, the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) is advising pet owners to consider the furry members of their family when preparing for natural disasters.
AVA president Dr Paula Parker said it’s critical for owners to include pets in their disaster plan.
“Don’t wait until it’s too late. Start today by making a plan and preparing a disaster kit. Planning ahead is vital and can not only help save human lives but also save pets’ lives.”
The decision to evacuate or stay at home is always a critical one. “Try to keep your pets in a room or area of your home where they can be quickly collected if you need to leave urgently, and make sure you have their carry cages and leads on hand,” Dr Parker advised. She added that owners should also put together an emergency kit for their animals including lots of non-perishable food, water in spill-proof containers and medications.
Finally, if owners become separated from their pet in an emergency evacuation, “they should advise local vets, animal welfare shelters and rescue organisations. It’s crucial that your pet is microchipped and registered with the local council to make it easier to be reunited in an emergency,” Dr Parker said.
AVA brochures on protecting pets in natural disasters are available for download from the AVA website.
The AVA is also running its Be Aware, Prepare campaign over summer to raise awareness of summer hazards and the importance of planning for natural disasters—for all animal owners.
Based on a media release sourced from the AVA website.