Many Australians living on the fringe of bushland will feel the threat of a bushfire at some stage. The RFS recommends that all Australians have a bushfire survival plan and that everyone in the family discusses this plan.
Including your pets in this plan is critical and so is implementing your plan early! Here are some key things to have handy & some tasks to allocate among the family.
Keep a plastic lunchbox with all of your pets medications and directions for use in it. Your vet's phone number in your mobile phone or included in the box can be handy should you need it. Remember, in the event of an emergency, your vet will always have a record of your pets vaccination information.
The RFS recommends we discuss with our family members our fire survival plan all year round. It is important to allocate jobs to other family members and that everyone is aware of their job should you need to leave with your pets. Some cats are a little tricky to place in their carrier. It is best to keep cats inside the house if there is any threat of bushfire. Make placing the cat in their carrier the job of the cats favourite family member! This will ensure that this task happens in a stress free manner.
Always have a towel to cover the carrier with. This will also reduce the stress to your kitty when travelling. Pack any bedding, blankets or comfort toys with your carrier and keep them together.
If you have a small dog or small animals such as a rabbit or guinea pig, we recommend using a pet carrier too. Most dogs and small animals will feel safe and secure in a carrier.
Modern pet carriers are collapsible, making them easy to store when not needed. Adding a plastic tag to your carrier with your pets name, breed and your phone number is also useful if you need to go to an evacuation centre.
Collar, lead and ID tag
For larger dogs, ensure that you have a place in your house where you hang your lead and make sure that everyone in the family knows this place. Many emergency facilities will need your dog to be on a leash.
Check that your dog and cat has an ID tag and that your contact details are up-to-date.
Bowls and food
You can keep travel bowls in your carrier all year round to use in an emergency situation. These bowls are often collapsible so take up little room. Ensure you have a bag of dry food, treats and bottles of water to take with you should you need to implement your bushfire survival plan.
Check with your local council for an evacuation venue that you can take pets to. Many local showgrounds will open and be allocated for horses and other pets.
Have a trial run!
Having a test run is a good idea with the entire family to ensure everyone knows what to do.This will also build a sense of confidence, especially in children, and will reduce any stress or anxiety.
Make sure you have a back up rout to leave should there be road closures. Before leaving check Live traffic's website (or download the app) for updates on road closures.
Many communities will have neighbourhood safer places . These are generally in the centre of town and could be an RSL club (some will cater for pets), a shopping centre or oval which is well away from the bush.
Communicate with your neighbours
Talk to your neighbours and let them know your plans. Keep them in the loop of your whereabouts and check in on them and their pets if need be.
Most importantly, implementation, preparedness and communication is key to surviving a bushfire with your pets.
For further information, call in & see us in the store, or email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
4/72-76 Station St Bowral NSW 2576
PH: 024862 1175
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