Companion Animals

Emergency preparedness for pets and people.

To be prepared in an emergency, it is recommended each home has a written and practiced emergency plan, kit and an evacuation kit for the family and another for the animals. 

An emergency plan should consist of a ‘plan A’ and a ‘plan B’. This ensures your family has two options, should one not be viable at the time. Your plan should address:

  • An evacuation route and method. Try to include more than one exit.
  • An evacuation meeting point (e.g. the park across the road )
  • Where the animals will be evacuated to. Arrange two options such as family or friends in two different locations if possible.
  • Have a list of important phone numbers e.g. Police, Ambulance, Friends and family.
  • How will you communicate? Use sms texting where possible.
  • Should address how often the plan will be practiced
  • Should address an evacuation kit

Be aware of weather warnings and on days of extreme weather via the Bureau of meteorology site or ABC news radio (, be prepared to evacuate. Be aware that during some emergencies, you may be out at work or otherwise and not have access to your home. Discuss your plans with your neighbours and plan to work together to help each other in these situations.

Part of being prepared means that vehicles are maintained and are filled with adequate levels of fuel, so that you and your family can evacuate safely.

Evacuation Kits

Each person in the house should know where the evacuation kit/s are stored and they should be easy to access in an emergency. When planning your family are organising your evacuation kit, think about what your family needs. For example, each person may have their own back pack or if you have very young children you may pack a large back pack and a small carry bag.

Different types of animals have different needs and the following lists for evacuation kits may be altered to suit your situation. The cost of being prepared needn’t be great, most evacuation kits can be made from items you already have in your home.

For more information on what is recommended in your family’s evacuation kit visit the community section of our website.

Evacuation kits for companion animals

Evacuation kit- items in the kit to be used only in an emergency

  • Crate or cage with a label with pets details on it, name, your name, address, phone numbers with an alternative contact.
  • Lead (dogs)
  • Collar with identification tag (It is recommended pets are micro chipped, ensure these details are up to date)
  • Important papers: vaccine record, medical history and vet details, current medications/dose and frequency, registration, microchip papers, photo of your pet for ID, pharmacy scripts for medicine.
  • Water
  • Food for three days
  • Manual can opener
  • Bowl
  • Medication
  • Cage muzzle (if you think your pet will need it, must allow dog to pant)
  • Newspaper for bedding or a soft blanket
  • Litter and litter tray for cats

Remember, the earlier you evacuate, the safer you and your animals will be

Emergency Kit for Pets- items in the kit to be used only in an emergency

An emergency kit is used in the event that an emergency occurs and you are required to stay inside your home. In this situation, utilities such as electricity and water may not be working, so it is important to prepare. This kit is a separate kit to the evacuation kit. A box containing all of your pets needs for three days is required.

It should include;

– Water for at least three days
– Food for at least three days (wet food is better if possible as animals wont need to drink as much)
– A manual can opener
– A bowl
– Medicines
– A first aid Kit
– A dog Jumper (some dogs can feel the cold and you may not have heating in the house)
– A blanket for bedding or if it is cold
– Newspaper for any mess
– Rubbish bags

For more information on what you can do to help prepare your family, visit the DFES website.