Protecting your pet from bushfires
Australia is currently experiencing an unprecedented catastrophe. Bushfires are causing mass devastation to animal populations and habitats.
While some people have a disaster survival plan in place, they don’t always include their pets. This can result in losing valuable time and making last minute decisions when a disaster occurs.
If the worst happens, having a plan in place for your pet will mean you can be prepared, act early and stay safe. Our free Disaster Packs include a complete checklist of emergency survival items and important information to prepare a disaster plan for your pet.
Australia has a tragic history with bushfires, and our fire season is starting earlier. We reflect on the Black Saturday bushfires as a turning point for awareness on having a disaster plan for your pets.
The Black Saturday Bushfires
The Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria in 2009 were deadly for both people and pets. Described as one of Australia’s worst peacetime disasters, the horrific bushfires claimed the lives of 173 people, and countless pets and animals. Those who were affected bear lifelong scars.
The Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission investigation into the bushfires found that human safety was compromised due to households lacking preparation for their animals.
Many people have strong connections to their pets – and many lives were lost returning to the fire scene at a late stage to retrieve animals.
Being prepared for a disaster could save the lives of your pets, yourself and your family.
If you live in an area at risk from bushfires, follow your local council's guidance for your pet and yourself during a fire. They will advise you of where the closest evacuation centre is and whether it allows pets.
- If you are moving animals to a safer place, do so early to avoid late evacuation
- If you decide to stay at home when a warning is issued, take care to secure gates as your pet may run away if afraid
- If possible, keep your pet in a quiet room inside the house, preferably with small or no windows. Provide food and plenty of water
- On high risk days, take precautions for your pet before leaving home
Have a plan in place today, not just for yourself, but for your beloved animals, as well.