Prepare pets, livestock and home for cyclone season
Cyclone season officially starts in November, and Minister for Primary Industry and Resources, Ken Vowles, and Darwin Lord Mayor, Kon Vatskalis, are reminding Territorians to plan ahead and prepare for a cyclone.
“It is important to plan ahead during the cyclone season, and that means planning for your household, including dogs, cats, horses and livestock, and being prepared in advance for any travel you might be undertaking,” Mr Vowles said.
“If you have horses or livestock, assess whether their environment will be safe for them during a cyclone or severe storm and for three days afterwards. If you need to move them to a safer place, do so early to avoid unnecessary risk to you or your animals.
“If you have to leave horses during a cyclone, leave them in a well-constructed stable if possible, with the surrounding area well secured and loose objects stored or tied down.
“If you leave your livestock in a paddock, the fences need to be in good repair so animals can’t bolt if they are frightened. Stock registers should be up to date.”
Mr Vowles reminded owners of domestic pets that animals are not allowed in cyclone shelters.
“But you can shelter in your car with your pet in a public carpark shelter, such as Casuarina Square Shopping Centre,” he said. “If your house is cyclone coded and you decide to leave your pet at home, confine them in a small, darkened room with plenty of food and water, but don’t tie them up.”
He said owners should include provisions for their pets in their cyclone kit.
“That includes enough food and drinking water to last three days, a bowl, medication and vet records, a leash/harness or carrier, bedding and toys if practical, and an up-to-date photo of your pet so they can be identified if they get lost,” Mr Vowles said.
Mr Vatskalis encouraged pet owners to check their pet’s registration and microchip details are up to date.
“Severe weather can cause pets to panic and escape, so ensuring your details are current is important so you can more easily be reunited with your pet,” he said.
He also said anyone who hadn’t already taken advantage of Darwin council’s pre-cyclone clean-up should make the most of Shoal Bay tip.
“Clear your property of any loose items that could potentially be turned into a missile and cause injury or damage to someone in a storm,” he said. “The Shoal Bay Waste Management Facility is open every day from 7am to 6pm, so I encourage residents to get rid of their unwanted items to minimise potential damage.”
Mr Vowles said it is also important to plan ahead for any road trips during the wet season, including checking the condition of Territory roads before you head out.
“Just in time for the Territory’s wildest weather season, the NT Government, in conjunction with Charles Darwin University, has revamped the Road Report NT website to include a more mobile device-friendly interface, and clearer, faster maps to help you stay safe,” he said.
See www.roadreport.nt.gov.au to find out more. The Road Report NT Facebook page is also a great source of information.
To find your nearest NT cyclone shelter or carpark shelter see www.secure.nt.gov.au. If you are concerned about an animal’s welfare, call NT Animal Welfare on 1300 720 386.
31 October 2017.