Pets and animals
Pets are an important part of the family.
It is important to consider your pets when planning for storms including:
- Pet safety during storms
- What you will do with pets if you are required to evacuate or leave your property including moving pets safely
Include in your Home Emergency Plan what you will do with your pets before, during and after storms. Your pets are reliant on you during storms and can be scared by lightning, thunder and heavy rain. It is suggested that where possible, owners consider bringing pets inside before a storm to prevent them running away.
The NSW SES has developed a StormSafe Pets Fact Sheet for more information on looking after your pets during storms.
Pets and Animals - Before a Storm
Here are some tips for looking after your pets before a storm:
- Include your pets in your emergency plans
- Check local arrangements for animal shelters in times of disasters
- Find out if pets are allowed at your local evacuation centre
- Plan with friends or family now for a place to go where your pets are included
- make sure your pets have up-to-date identification and proof of vaccinations
Many pets are left behind and become injured or die because they are not included in emergency plans.
Make sure you look after your pets and include them in your emergency plans.
Pets and Animals - During a Storm
Caring for your pets during a storm is your responsibility.
If you own agisted animals (horses for example) away from where you live, you need to think about caring for them as well.
- Move animals to secure shelter or away from storm impacted areas well before the storm hits
Some animals may become agitated during a storm.
- Bring your pets indoors with their food and water
- Keep your pets close by
- Stay away from windows
- Keep your pets calm
If you need to evacuate or leave:
- Take your pets with you
- Take supplies necessary for your pets including food, water, litter and medications
- Make sure you have appropriate transport equipment including carriers, muzzles and restraints
Some evacuation centres may only allow pets with up-to-date identification and proof of vaccinations. Some may not accept pets at all (assistance animals excepted). Plan for this possibility if you need to leave or evacuate your property.
Pets and Animals - After a Storm
After a storm, your pets may be agitated and some pets may be missing.
- Make sure the is no damage to your yard or any hazards that could place your pet in danger
- When you take your pets back outside, go with them to let them know it is safe
- Spend some time calming your pets
- Make sure they have food and clean water
If your pet is missing, check with:
- Your neighbours to see if they have seen your pet
- Local pounds, shelters, animal control authorities or boarding facilities
Update your emergency plan with things you have learnt from this experience so that the next time a storm hits, you can care for your pets.
Agisted Animals StormSafe
It is also important to remember any animals you may own but which are kept on other properties. Horses are usually kept like this. These kinds of animals are called agisted animals.
Many properties where agisted animals are kept can be affected by storms. If there is the likelihood of storms, it is important to make sure your agisted animals are safe.
Talk to the property owner about the local risks and about their plans for when there may be storms. Add these plans to your own Home Emergency Plan.
Monitor the weather conditions near where your animals are agisted and put your Emergency Plan into action if there is the likelihood of storms where you keep your agisted animals.
Some actions you can take include
Before a storm:
- Make sure where you agist your animals have emergency plans
- Plan how you will keep in touch with the property to make sure your animals are safe
- Move your animals prior to a storm hitting
- Ensure there is secure shelter available for your agisted animals
During a storm:
- Keep in contact with the property owners about the safety of your agisted animals
After a storm:
- Check on your agisted animals when it is safe to do so
- Update your emergency plan
- Help update the property owners emergency plan
Related Documents StormSafe Pets Fact Sheet