The cyclone season in Northern Australia begins on 1 November and extends until April. It is important to plan ahead for cyclones in the Northern Territory, and remember to include your pets in the planning. The effects of cyclones can be devastating for animals as well as people. This is a summary of the recommendations of the Australian Veterinary Association:
Make sure you pack an emergency kit for animals which should include a first-aid kit, non-perishable food (dry food) and water in spill proof containers.
Make sure that your animal can be easily identified in case you become separated; all pets should be microchipped and registered with the local council. A collar and ID tag with your details should be worn.
Exotic pets such as birds, rats, mice, rabbits and guinea pigs should be confined in a small cage/carrier with a cover.
Have a cage/carrier for your cat or dog ready for evacuation. If possible train them to enjoy going in their carrier in advance.
During the cyclone
Decide whether you are going to evacuate or stay home. If you need to evacuate, take your pet to pre-arranged kennels, animal shelters or friends that are outside the danger zone.
If your pet is staying at home, confine them to the safest enclosed room (eg. Bathroom). Do not tie your pet up.
Ensure they can access the non-perishable food and water in spill proof containers. Provide litter trays and litter (for cats in particular).
Put a notice on your property saying that your pet is in the property.
After a cyclone
Survey the area for any harmful objects and contaminated water. Check your pet for any injuries and keep them inside while you monitor them closely. If they have been without food for a long time, reintroduce it slowly with small portions of food. Ensure fresh water is available. Let them rest and recover, and provide a quiet, safe area where they can get away from people and other animals if they are traumatised. Contact us at All Pets Veterinary Hospital for advice.