Get your pets ready for New Zealand ShakeOut
New Zealand ShakeOut is the national earthquake drill and tsunami hīkoi (evacuation walk) which is taking place on Thursday 19 October at 9.30am. Businesses, households and communities right across New Zealand are encouraged to get involved in this interactive day, and most importantly, to put a plan in place.
This year we have experienced extreme weather conditions and natural disasters. Being prepared and understanding what to do in the event of an earthquake or tsunami, and how to safety evacuate with your family and pets is key. Signing up to New Zealand Shakeout and having a household plan is a great way to be prepared.
Make a plan for your pets
Pets are part of the family and are your responsibility in the event of an emergency, so they need to be included in any household plan you make.
- Create an emergency household plan
- Prepare a home survival kit
- Prepare a get-away kit
If you have to evacuate, you must take your animal(s) with you. Your animals cannot survive without you and you may not be able to return to your property for several days.
The following steps can help you prepare your household and your animals for an emergency:
- Make emergency arrangements with friends or relatives outside your neighbourhood or area
- Keep contact details of “pet-friendly” hotels and motels in case you have to evacuate your home or neighbourhood
- Attach a permanent disc to your animal’s collar with your name, address and contact number
- Microchip all your animals and ensure microchip and dog registration details are up to date. Keep an out of area secondary contact listed on the microchip database (New Zealand Companion Animal Register, NZCAR)
- Keep photos of your animals electronically (e.g. webmail) including photos of you with your animals
- If you have domestic animals or farmed animals, ensure you have an emergency plan so they are secure, have food, water and shelter. Be aware of which paddocks can be used to move farmed animals away from hazards such as floodwaters and power lines
It is essential that your animal is microchipped; this will ensure you are reunited if you become separated. After the 2011 Christchurch earthquakes microchipping was associated with enhanced rates of owner/animal reunification.
Not sure where to start? We have created a handy checklist that you can download to help you with planning for your animals in an emergency.
When you have created your plan, make sure you discuss it with people you live with, record it, and practice it with your family and co-workers. Keep your plan in an obvious place, at home this could be on the fridge or by the front door.
Get your kids involved
Our kids' portal is a really fun and interactive online place to visit with your tamariki to learn more about animal welfare and how to prepare and care for your pets in emergencies. We even have an instructional reader about this very topic! The Cat, The Car and The Tsunami is a story about what to do in the event of an earthquake or tsunami and how a family take care of their pet cat, Whiskers.
There’s also a great short video you can watch with your kids on the GET READY website, which explains all the things to consider when making a plan.
Find out more
To sign up to be involved in New Zealand ShakeOut on Thursday 19 October, or for helpful resources to plan for an emergency, please check out the GET READY website.
To learn more about how to plan, prepare and care for your animals in the event of an emergency, please visit our website.