Be prepared, Act early, Be considerate and Act safely.
RSPCA Qld is urging people to include their animals in emergency plans. Recent bushfires killed scores of livestock in the Gympie area and of course there is always a risk to pets in all emergencies.
Among the things to remember are:
- Properly identify your pets (name tags, microchip, or band)
- Keep a list of emergency phone numbers on display
- Be aware that some evacuation centres may not accept animals so plan alternatives accordingly
- If moving animals to a safer place, do so early to avoid unnecessary risk
- Ensure there is access to plenty of food and water
- If staying at home, secure animals in good time so that they do not take flight
- If possible, leave pets indoors
- Place pets in separate rooms with small or preferably no windows (laundry, bathroom)
- Provide adequate food and water in large heavy bowls
- If left outside, do not tie them up
- If you have to, leave pets behind: your safety, and that of your family, is paramount
When returning home:
- Look for debris. Find out the extent of the damage at your property to ensure that it is safe and remove any potential hazards.
- Make sure you have a clean, dry, and undamaged space to house your animals. Floodwater can cause disease and surfaces will need to be disinfected.
- Noise and activity. Animals affected by natural disasters may be traumatised and spooked easily. If possible only return your animals after repairs and rubbish have been removed.
- Food and water. Ensure your pets have access to clean water and uncontaminated food sources.
- Animals returning to properties must have appropriate shelter from the elements.
- Monitor the health and safety of your pets once home.
RSPCA 24/7 Emergency Hotline - 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625)