Emergency planning


Preparation is essential

Having a well rehearsed emergency plan can mean the difference between life and death. It’s critical to be ready for the unexpected so you and your pets remain safe in an emergency.

We experience heat and weather extremes in Victoria every year. We always hope for the best, but need to be ready should the worst happen.

Be prepared for evacuation

Update your pet’s microchip

It’s essential that your pet’s microchip details are current. If you’re separated, this information is crucial to reunite you as soon as possible.

Identification ready and readable

Identification tags are readable by everyone, so keep this information clear and accurate. It’s difficult to predict how your pet may react to an emergency situation, so always have ways of getting them back if they bolt.

Preventative medication

Many boarding facilities will require proof of vaccination before accepting your pet for temporary accommodation, so keep those jabs up to date.

Organise temporary accommodation

Determine where your pet can stay if temporary accommodation is needed. This could be a friend’s house, pet boarding facility or animal shelter.

Tip: It can be tricky to move horses at the last minute, so consider moving them to a safer area in high risk seasons.

Relocate your pet early

When there is a high risk of an emergency or disaster situation, consider moving your pet before it worsens. Knowing your pet is safe while you deal with everything else will tick one thing off your to-do list.

Tip: Cats are especially vulnerable to hiding when they’re afraid, so it’s best to keep them contained or relocate them early.

Determine an emergency guardian

Identify a trusted person close by who can action your evacuation plan if you are not home.

Organise transport

Decide how you will transport your pets and purchase any crates or restraints in advance. Keep dogs and small animals with you, and restrain them at all times.

Plan your evacuation route

Consider various access routes to exit dangerous areas and know the alternatives if your preferred route is blocked.

Assembling a pet emergency kit

Ensure you have a pet emergency kit packed and ready to go. If you have been advised by emergency services to stay at home, keep your pets with you and ensure your pet emergency kit is on hand.

Prepare livestock and horses

Evacuate livestock and horses early using suitable transport. Take all the items needed for your animals’ stay including temporary fencing.

If you can’t evacuate your horses or livestock, prepare a large area with minimal vegetation and access to food and water in fire resistant containers.

Help wildlife

For more information on assisting wildlife during an emergency, please contact Wildlife Victoria or the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).

Go to Wildlife VictoriaGo to DELWP

Emergency contacts

For more information on disaster readiness, please contact the CFA, SES and the Australian Red Cross.

Go to CFAGo to SESGo to Australian Red Cross

Agriculture Victoria’s website has great resources about planning for and responding to emergencies, evacuating with animals, recovering from emergencies and emergency animal disease.

Go to Agriculture Victoria

Preparation is the key to successfully navigating an emergency situation. There are lots of great resources available, so you’ll be ready the next time Victoria throws us a curveball.