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Evacuating your pets from floods & disasters

The major floods currently inundating the state of Queensland and the evacuation of many parts of Brisbane (Australia’s third largest city) have really made me think about what preparations people should make when evacuating their home; especially in regards to their pets. If a natural disaster hit our area I would need to pack for not only my husband and myself but our two cats and two dogs, for an unknown length of time, and possibly with an unknown destination. So I have done a little research about what emergency rescue associations recommend when evacuating with your pets.

Firstly, it is good to keep in mind that once you have been evacuated you and your animals could have to stay in a variety of different types of accommodation such as friends’ houses, hotels and evacuation centres and shelters. There is also a possibility your pets might have to stay in a separate shelter to yourself, specifically set up for animals.

Pet evacuation checklist

Here is a general checklist of what to take if you have time to get organised:

  • Check all identification tags are up-to-date and securely attached to your pet’s collar or carrier for smaller pets.
  • Make sure you have a secure pet carrier or cage plus a leash and collar or harness for each pet.
  • Pack a muzzle if your dog has ever required one around other dogs or people (anxiety and stress can cause any pet to bite).
  • A current picture of your pet and a current picture of you and your pet, in case you need proof of ownership.
  • Relevant veterinary records and medications, such as flea or heartworm treatment, along with emergency vet contact information (many pet shelters will not take pets without their vaccination record).
  • Several days worth of food and water for each pet, including dishes, spoon and a can opener.
  • Write out feeding and medication instructions, including what NOT to feed your pet (in case you need to leave your pet with friends or a shelter).
  • Don’t forget clean-up supplies like paper towels, newspaper, kitty litter and tray for cats, poo bags for disposing of waste, wet and dry wipes, hand sanitizers and rubbish bags.
  • Pet toys, beds, blankets, towels and treats.
  • A pet first aid kit if you have one.

Many emergency agencies urge people who live in high risk areas (and even if you don’t) to prepare an emergency disaster plan that always includes your pets.

Our thoughts are with all those affected by the ongoing flood disaster in Queensland, Australia. So if you are lucky enough to be safe at home please think about donating to:

If you have any tips or items to add to the above checklist please comment below!

Above image was taken by Torsten Blackwood, AFP.



Lisa Miller is a blogger, digital strategist, business coach, zoologist and crazy dog-lady! Lisa lives in Sydney, Australia with her husband, two kids, two dogs and two cats. That equates to a lot of fun and vacuuming. Her dog’s names are Cresswell and Edwina (or Cress and Eddie).

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