It has been heart-breaking to see the impact of the floods on the people and their animals in NSW and QLD.

It’s a sombre reminder about the need to be prepared in case an emergency comes our way.

Do you have a plan in place for your family and pets? Floods, fires and cyclones can be devastating. But by preparing, you greatly increase the likelihood of evacuating safely.

Be prepared

If you haven’t got a plan, now is the time to make one. And include your furry family members too.

Many evacuation centres won’t accept animals, except trained assistance dogs, so you’ll want to have a back-up plan.

Friends, family or boarding facilities in a safe place are good temporary housing options for dogs or cats, while agistment sites, showgrounds or saleyards may be able to accommodate horse and farm animals during an emergency.

Check your pet’s registration and microchip details to make sure you can be safely reunited in an emergency. For livestock, check your NLIS and PIC details and make copies.

Preparing an emergency pet kit ahead of time will help you stay calm and in control. 

Your kit should include:

  • Food, medication for two weeks
  • Litter/litter trays or poo bags
  • Bedding and toys
  • Registration and vaccination certificates
  • Vet history
  • Proof of ownership
  • Photos of your pets
  • Emergency contact numbers (your vet, local animal shelter, local council and alternative animal accommodation facility)

Set time aside to practise your plan to make sure you are familiar with it in an emergency. For help making a plan, visit

Act early

If moving large animals to a safer place, do so early when emergency conditions are forecast to avoid unnecessary risk.  

Animals should only be left behind on your property as an absolute last resort, which means it is impossible to  evacuate them. If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, take the following measures to increase their safety:  

  • Provide food for at least one week in more than one container that can’t be tipped over. 
  • Make sure horses and livestock have plenty of water available from a source that does not rely on power or above-ground pipes.
  • Leave a note on your door with your contact details, the number and species of animals you have left behind and the names and photos of pets.
  • Do not shut horses in stables or small yards. Paddocks with no vegetation are best during fire risk, or paddocks on higher ground during flood risks.
  • Do not tie your animals up, as they will be unable to flee if danger is imminent.

Find out more about how you can prepare for, respond to and recover from an emergency impacting animal welfare at

Read more at RSPCA's Knowledgebase website: