Be aware, prepare for natural disasters

Media release date: 
Monday, 11 December 2017

With the bushfire and flood season ahead of us, the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) is advising pet owners to consider the furry members of their family when preparing for natural disasters.

AVA President, Dr Paula Parker, said it’s critical to include pets in your disaster plan.

“With so many Australians living in bushfire zones it’s vital that they’re prepared for an emergency, and that includes pets.

“Don’t wait until it’s too late. Start today by making a plan and preparing a disaster kit. Planning ahead is vital and can not only help save human lives but also save pets’ lives.

“The decision to evacuate or stay at home is always a critical one. Try to keep your pets in a room or area of your home where they can be quickly collected if you need to leave urgently, and make sure you have their carry cages and leads on hand.

“Put together an emergency kit for your animals with lots of non-perishable food and water in spill-proof containers and remember to include any medications,” she said.

“If you become separated from your pet in an emergency evacuation advise local vets, animal welfare shelters and rescue organisations. It’s crucial that your pet is microchipped and registered with the local council to make it easier to be re-united in an emergency,” she said.

Contact your local veterinarian for help putting together a disaster kit for your pets so evacuation goes smoothly for your entire family.

AVA brochures on protecting pets in natural disasters are available for download from the AVA website at

The AVA is running its Be Aware, Prepare campaign over summer to raise awareness of summer hazards and the importance of planning for natural disasters – for all animal owners.


For further information and requests for interviews contact the AVA media office on (02) 9431 5062, 0439 628 898 or

The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) is the only national association representing veterinarians in Australia. Founded in 1921, the AVA today represents 9000 members working in all areas of animal science, health and welfare.

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