Flooding Safety Guide

Creating an emergency plan for natural disasters, such as floods, will ensure that you and your animal(s) remain safe. In the event of flooding, your pet(s) will most likely be frightened and confused and will rely on you to protect them. As an animal owner there are several steps that you can take to make sure that you are prepared. 


Make sure that your pet(s) can be identified

Microchipping and registering your animal(s) will give them the best chance of being reunited with you, if you become separated. You can register your animals at the NSW Pet Registry.

If you own livestock, you can register with the Property Identification Codes which will identify the number of animals you keep on your property. 

 It is also important to create an identification folder that contains documentation that will help identify your pet(s). These documents include:  

  • Recent photographs of your pet(s) that clearly show their fur or any unusual markings they may have 
  • Hard copies of certificates such as registration and vaccination  
  • ID tags 
  • The contact details of your veterinarian 


Create an evacuation plan

There are many options for relocating you and your animal(s) in the case of an evacuation. Make sure you know what options are available to you, and include your first preference as well as alternatives in your evacuation plan. You may not be able to relocate to your first preference due to the flood moving to an area that was previously safe, roads being closed or blocked or, in the case of friends and family, changing personal circumstances affecting their ability to accommodate you. The best option for you and your animal(s) depends on where you are and what type of animal(s) you have.  

Options include: 

  • Homes of friends or family outside of the risk area; 
  • Boarding facilities in a safe area; 
  • Local shelters or council pounds, if they are out of the risk area and able to adequately care for evacuated animals; 
  • Pet-friendly evacuation centres set up by emergency department officials; and 
  • For horses and farmed animals, safe agistment sites, showgrounds and sale yards that may be set up by local emergency department officials. 

It is important to note that not all evacuation centres accept animals. To stay up to date with vital information, visit https://www.ses.nsw.gov.au/ 


Transporting your animals

Before you transport your animal(s), it’s important to make sure that you have all the necessary equipment. To reduce last-minute stress, try and prepare a list of everything you will need to ensure that your pet can be transported to their new location smoothly. Remember that it may not be possible to transport all your animals in one vehicle.  

The transportation of livestock must happen well in advance wherever possible.  


Prepare emergency kit for your animal(s)

Preparing an emergency kit will have a positive impact on your pet’s health and wellbeing if you need to relocate from your home. This kit should contain necessities for your pet(s) to survive, as well as items that will provide a sense of familiarity and comfort too. These items include: 

  • Food and water bowls. Try to pack at least one week’s worth of food 
  • Blankets 
  • Cat litter box 
  • Leashes, muzzles, collars, and harnesses 
  • A pet first-aid kit 
  • Familiar toys that may help pets under stress 
  • Poo bag for dogs 


Leaving your animal(s) behind

Leaving your animals behind in the instance of flooding should be avoided unless there are no other options. It may take you several days to return to your property. Never leave animals tied up as they will be unable to escape if needed. 

If you do need to leave your animal(s) behind, leave them enclosed inside an upstairs or elevated room with plenty of food and water supplies. You should also leave a note attached to your front door stating how many animals are on the property with your contact details and any identifying factors such as their breed and appearance.  

Livestock can be moved to higher ground with plenty of natural feed, preferably undercover. In extreme circumstances, you can cut fences so that livestock may escape and be relocated later. When leaving behind livestock, high visibility coats and rugs with your mobile phone number can be helpful to assist in the relocation of lost animals.  


What to do if you lose your animal(s)

In the unfortunate instance that you become separated from your animal(s), please contact your local shelters, pounds and veterinarians in your area. You can also check online Facebook groups for missing and found pets.  

If you have found an animal, check whether they are wearing a collar and use the contact details on the tag to contact the owner. If you cannot contact the owner, then you should arrange for the animal to be taken to a council pound, an animal welfare organisation or a veterinary practice.  


The nature of these of events can be unpredictable and devastating. Through making an emergency plan for your pets and family, we hope that you will be able to alleviate some stress and keep you and your animals together.


Helpful Links  

State Emergency Services  

Property Identification Codes 

NSW Pet Registry  

If you need help locating the right information during an emergency, please do not hesitate in contacting us on 1300 278 3589