Don't forget to consider the needs and safety of your pets when preparing a fire plan.
World Animal Protection is encouraging people to be prepared by planning ahead - and they have disaster packs for cats, dogs, horses, birds and small animals available to help.
World Animal Protection director Simone Clarke said that many people didn't have a disaster plan that included their pets.
"We know from looking at past disasters that people can make last-minute decisions to try to keep their pets safe - putting themselves in danger in the process," she said.
"Pets must be part of emergency planning, not just to protect them, but to keep your family safe too."
There are an estimated 25 million pets in Australia, or roughly 9.2 million households with a pet.
World Animal Protection's top disaster preparation tips are:
- Prepare a disaster survival kit for your pet with food, water, medicine, identification, and a favourite toy for comfort. Put it in an easy to access spot and check it regularly to keep it up-to-date
- Identify a 'safe house', such as a friend's house, pet-friendly motel, or animal shelter where you can take your pet during a disaster
- Practice your plan so your pet is used to moving into their carrier. This will ensure you and your pet can move fast and stay calm in an emergency
- Display a rescue sticker on your doors and windows to alert emergency responders that there are pets in the home that need to be rescued. Put your pet's name on the sticker so emergency personnel can call out to them
- Update your pet's ID so that rescuers can contact you if they find your pet in an emergency. It's best to get your pet microchipped so it's easy to update contact information, otherwise double check the details on their collar tag are correct.
The survival kit for your pet should contain:
- Food: At least three days' worth of non-perishable pet food (canned or dried) in an airtight, waterproof container (remember the can opener). Ideally this is the same food you normally feed your pet to avoid possible stomach upsets.
- Water: At least three days' worth of water for your pet, who might drink more water than usual when under stress. Include extra water to clean up after your pet.
- Medicines: Store medicines in a waterproof container.
- Veterinary/Medical Records: Copies of medical and vaccination records should be in a watertight container or ziplock bag and include your vet's name and number in case someone else needs to look after your pet.
- First Aid Kit: Extra cotton bandage rolls, bandage tapes, scissors, tweezers and latex gloves, as well as tick/ flea prevention, antibiotic ointment and saline solution (i.e. eye wash solution separate from human use).
- Familiar items like a favourite blanket or toys can help reduce stress.
- Sanitation: Include 'poo' bags or kitty litter and litter box, and extra newspapers, paper towels, and plastic bags.
- Photograph: Store a current photograph of your pet in a waterproof container, including notes on: distinguishing features, name, sex, age, colour and breed. Also include a photograph of you and your pet together as this helps prove ownership.
- Sturdy lead, harness and muzzle: Plus any other sturdy kind of equipment that you think will help control your dog, particularly in a stressful situation and that you can add further identification to. Even if your dog is friendly, emergency personnel may refuse to handle them unless they are muzzled.
- Cages or Carrier: This is to transport your pet safely and ensure they cannot escape. A cage/carrier should be large enough for your pet to stand comfortably, turn around, lie down and have adequate ventilation. They may have to stay in the cage/ carrier for hours at a time, so include bedding, blankets and any favourite toy to reduce stress levels.
Visit protectyourpet.org.au to get your free disaster pack and start planning for your pet today.