12 Nov Bush fire catastrophe – are you prepared with a plan to protect ALL of your family?
NSW is expecting a cold front today Tuesday 12th November 2019. Contrary to what you would think about a ‘cold’ front, these phenomena are disastrous for firefighters as they make fires spread faster and more voraciously. The famous Black Saturday, Ash Wednesday and Black Friday fires that took thousands of animal and human lives all had a cold front precede them.
Bushfires can strike anywhere, anytime in our state and conditions can rapidly change. So what are our suggestions for keeping your family safe this bushfire season?
Bushfires can take out shopping areas and make supplies less available, so ensuring your fridge is fully stocked with food now and keeping in the pantry sufficient non-perishable items (like tinned or canned foods) is a really good idea should disaster strike.
Many disaster centres are not pet friendly, unfortunately, so now is the time to reach out to family and friends in lower-risk bushfire areas to ask them if they would be kind enough to accommodate your best friends safely if required.
During the bushfire season, we recommend keeping all pets indoors with the air conditioning system on to lower the number of particles in the air. These particles can irritate the airways of our pets and can worsen pre-existing breathing issues
None of us wants to think about it, but when a bushfire strikes, we need to take action to evacuate and fast! Getting your dogs, cats and pocket pets used to being enclosed in a cage will facilitate a more rapid and therefore successful evacuation. By having cages ready to go, it will help you transport your smaller pets quickly and could be life-saving
2 step ID
Make sure your pets microchip details (address and phone number) are updated so that in the event of them escaping your property, you can be reunited as quickly as possible. You can do this yourselves at www.petregistry.nsw.gov.au.
Even more importantly, make sure you have an ID tag or disk for your pet. This way your pet can be returned to the family without having to be taken to a vet or rescue shelter to scan the microchip. It’s the fastest way for them to find home.
On these 2 forms of ID, we strongly recommend having an additional contact number for an out of areas consults
When disaster strikes
Make sure that you follow emergency services directions. If they ask you to leave your home, do so. Staying back to fight the fire could put your family, including your pets at risks.
Rescue alert stickers
Preparing now some stickers that say ‘evacuated with pets’ and placing them on your windows and thoroughfare of your home will ensure that emergency services and good Samaritans know that you have departed safely and they will not risk their lives entering your property.
High risk companions
The smoke that bushfires generate irritates even the healthiest pets, but those with short noses and have not had the BAS procedure to assist breathing, and dogs with heart disease generally cope much poorer with smoky conditions.
Spending time now to put together an ‘essentials rescue kit’ is a good investment, and we hope you never have to use it! It should contain:
- A kennel for each animal in your household displaying your name, address and phone number
- Pet food and treats. If the food is canned, make sure they have peel tops and that you check expiration dates regularly.
- Leash, harness and collar
- Water, at least five gallons per animal. This should be good for a week.
- Copies of medical and immunization records
- Recent photos of your pets in case they go missing or you need to provide proof of ownership
- Cat litter and litter pan
- Plastic bags for pet waste