January 11, 2018
Summer has arrived and with it so has the potential for bushfires. Many of you will be putting together your fire plans and contemplating what you would do if you needed to evacuate. In these circumstances don’t forget to include your animal companions in your evacuation plans.
Image source: www.rspcasa.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Content_Banner_015_PEP-600×300-fit-constrain-q70-mobile_banner_image.jpg
One idea that might come in handy is a pet evacuation bag. This bag would contain items like:
• A bottle of water
• A bowl
• A small amount of dry or wet food
• A towel/blanket
• Spare collar and lead
• Pet identification paperwork (which includes their microchip number, medical requirements and relevant history)
• Any medications your pet may be on
• Carry cage for cats
All of this would come in handy depending on where your pets are to seek alternate accommodation prior to being able to return home.
If you do have to leave them behind, placing a sign on your gate, letter box or front door indicating how many and what type of pets (including livestock) should still be on the premises can allow for CFA or SES crews to assess their welfare once the danger period is over. Making sure your dog or cat has an ID tag can allow for them to be accounted for and identified easily in emergency situations.
Image source: https://images.petrescuestickers.com/img/lg/L/Please-Save-Our-Pets-Label-LB-1575.gif
Livestock that also have to stay behind should be kept on the property. Gates should not be opened to let them off of the premises as this could potentially put them and others in danger due to poor visibility as a result of the smoke. It is advisable to check with locals in the area to have designated checkpoints where livestock such as horses and ponies can be relocated to if there is sufficient time to evacuate them.
It is always best to be prepared!