Queenslanders have once again gone through a tropical cyclone, but this one (Tropical Cyclone Yasi) was a monster, and the Premier of Queensland, Anna Bligh, had stated that it would be devastating, destructive and potentially deadly. She was right.
After the safety of people, my thoughts turned to the safety of pets, so I thought it would help pet owners to be aware of some of the preparations they can make for their pets before the onslaught of the danger; it’s too late for this one, but not for the next.
This cyclone was forecast well in advance and because of that, people had time to prepare for it, and that preparation probably saved lives too. This cyclone has taught us that preparation is essential – but what about our pets?
Animals become very anxious during weather events such as this, so pet owners should ensure that their pets and animals are clearly identified with ID tags, showing telephone numbers – just in case some of them try to escape from their homes and yards during the cyclone.
It is recommended that pets should be kept somewhere familiar where they can be monitored; they need to feel secure, so keep them in a place where they feel comfortable and somewhere that is familiar to them. If the owner is anxious, this will pass on to the animal, so try to keep as calm as possible. Make sure there is plenty of water and food available to last at least a few days – just in case.
The noise a cyclone brings with it is horrendous, and will be terrifying for an animal – remember their hearing is more sensitive than humans, so they will be more prone to any kind of noise. Torrential rain lashing down on the roof makes a deafening sound, the fierce winds will pick up anything in it’s path and the debris will come crashing down on buildings. Uprooted trees will be thrown about like toothpicks and might even come flying through windows, so make sure any windows are taped up or covered with plywood.
The main thing is to try to keep as calm as possible as this is the time when animals will become extremely distressed and may even try to run away because they are so frightened. The animal is a lot safer inside a building with his owner than he would be out on the street.
A cyclone of the magnitude that this one is would pick an animal up and toss it around like a rag doll; it wouldn’t stand a chance.
So preparation is essential, keep the animal in a safe place, wearing ID, and try to keep calm until the cyclone danger is over.