A hot day followed by heavy rain, hail, thunder and lightning are the hallmark signs of a typical stormy summer’s day and occur more frequently during storm season, which is from October through to March.
Since the beginning of the current storm season, New South Wales has experienced 40 storms, which has resulted in the NSW State Emergency Service (NSW SES) responding to over 6550 calls for help from the public.
Sometimes we can take these storms for granted, but spare a thought for your furry family members who need to be taken care of during storms.
The NSW SES and the RSPCA have come together to remind pet owners of the importance of looking after their animals during a storm.
NSW SES Acting Commissioner Jim Smith is urging people with pets to plan ahead and create an emergency plan which includes what you would do with your pets during an emergency such as a storm.
“I want to remind pet owners to consider your animals when making emergency plans for storms and floods. The NSW SES Home Emergency Plan can assist with planning on what to do with your pets during an emergency,” said Mr Smith.
“Things to include in your plan may include whose responsibly it will be to bring your pet indoors before a storm and keeping your pet’s medications and vaccination papers handy in case you need to evacuate your property in a hurry,” Mr Smith continued.
In addition to companion animals, storms can also pose a risk to livestock with strong winds, heavy rain, hail and loud thunder. RSPCA NSW Chief Veterinarian, Dr Magdoline Awad said pet owners should take extra precautions to ensure animals are safe and unharmed.
“Many animals suffer from noise phobias and thunderstorms can frighten animals causing them to escape their homes in fear and injure themselves in the process,” said Dr Awad. “Pet owners should ensure animals are contained in a safe, secure environment and have access to proper shelter.”
“Planning ahead is critical, and we urge people to include their animals when preparing their emergency plan. It is also essential to have all your pets microchipped with up-to-date details registered,” she added.
Mr Smith added, “It is important to protect your family and pets from storms and minimise damage to your property. By planning on what you will do with your pets, you and your household will know what to do before, during and after storms.
To make your own Home Emergency Plan and for tips on how to look after your pets during a storm visit: www.stormsafe.com.au
For more information about protecting your pet from loud noises, including storms, visit: http://www.rspcansw.org.au/learn/pet-hazards/loud-noise-phobia-safety