Top tips for cyclone preparedness

How to safeguard your pet

Cyclones can be unpredictable and potentially dangerous natural disasters. It’s crucial to ensure the safety of every family member, including your beloved pets. As a responsible pet owner, taking proactive measures to protect your furry companions during a cyclone is essential.  

Here are some top tips from our Greencross Vets team to help you prepare and keep your pets safe during a cyclone. 

1. Identification and microchipping

Before the cyclone season begins, ensure your pet is microchipped, as it provides a permanent form of identification, or check that your contact details linked with your pet’s microchip are up to date. Learn how. 

You can also help identify your pet with a collar and tag containing your current contact information. In case of separation during a cyclone, these measures significantly increase the chances of a happy reunion. 

2. Emergency pet kit

Prepare an emergency kit specifically for your pet. Include essentials such as: 

  • Sufficient food and water for at least a week.
    Tip: Ensure this is food that doesn’t require refrigeration, such as canned food or kibble. 
  • Bowls for food and water 
  • Medications and medical records – ideally in a waterproof folder or container 
  • Comfort items (blankets, toys) 
  • First aid supplies 
  • A recent photo of your pet 
  • Litter, litter box and waste disposal bags for cats 
  • Poo bags for dogs 
  • Leash, harness, or carrier for safe transportation 

3. Secure shelter

Identify a safe and secure area within your home where your pet can take shelter during the cyclone. This space should be away from windows and doors, preferably in an interior room. Familiarise your pet with this space ahead of time so they feel more comfortable during stressful situations. 

4. Evacuation plan

In the event of an evacuation, have a plan in place for your pet(s). Research pet-friendly evacuation shelters and hotels in advance and know the evacuation routes. Make sure your emergency kit is easily accessible for a quick departure. 

If it’s not possible to take your pet with you, or you will be temporarily away from home, ensure they are secured inside with fresh water and food, and an elevated surface they can jump onto if needed. Also consider if there are trusted family or friends you could leave them with as an alternative. 

5. Stay informed

Keep yourself informed about cyclone updates through local news, weather apps, or official channels. Knowing the cyclone’s progress and anticipated impact allows you to make timely decisions to safeguard your pet. 

6. Calming techniques

Cyclones can be stressful for pets. Common signs of anxiety can include pacing, panting, trembling, hiding, freezing, drooling, lip licking, yawning, full body shaking, excessively vocalizing, wanting to escape and withdrawing from family/social settings. 

Practice these calming techniques to help your pet remain calm during a storm: 

  • Crate train your pets before cyclone/storm season, so they know their crate is a safe, comfortable place. 
  • Make your home a calm environment – you could play some calming music, put familiar scents such as clothes and blankets in their crate or safe space. 
  • Use pheromone diffusers such as Adaptil and Feliway. Adaptil and Feliway are also available in spray bottles, so they can be applied to a bandana or collar as well. 
  • Distract your pets by playing their favourite games or set up a food puzzle for them with high value treats. Petbarn sells over the counter calming treats for pets experiencing anxiety, or your vet may be able to prescribe calming medication for your pet as well. 
  • Gentle massage, touch or cuddles can be calming for certain pets. 
  • If your dog is accustomed to a thundershirt, this may also be helpful. 

7. Regular vet check ups

Schedule regular veterinary check-ups to ensure your pet is in good health. Discuss emergency preparedness with your vet, including specific considerations for your pet’s breed, age and health conditions. You can book an appointment online here.  

8. WebVet

If you need vet advice or can’t get to your local vet during an emergency, you can also speak with a qualified vet 24/7 with WebVet.  

One of our vets will assess your pet via video, take notes of your pet’s condition and share the advice with your regular vet, ensuring continuity of care. Learn more. 

9. Recovery and post-cyclone care

After the cyclone has passed, inspect your home and surroundings for potential hazards before allowing your pet to roam freely. Debris, contaminated water and displaced wildlife may pose risks. Check your pet for injuries and contact your local vet if needed. 


By following these top tips, you can enhance the safety and well-being of your pet during cyclone season. Remember, proactive planning and preparation are key to minimising stress for both you and your furry friend during challenging weather events. Stay informed, stay safe and ensure that your pet is an integral part of your cyclone preparedness plan. 


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