Emergencies or disasters

Advice about managing animals in the event of fires, floods or other disasters.

Risk management plan

Schools that keep animals must have risk management plans to ensure the welfare of animals is safeguarded in the event of fire, flood, drought, storm damage and vandalism.

Schools must have an emergency plan that provides for easy access to a safe evacuation site and a safe, suitable method of transporting the animals.

The risk management plan should include the following:

  • Clear recording of number, species and location of all animals at the school
  • Identification of the staff members who are responsible for the different school animals and acknowledgement that they are know their responsibilities
  • Contact details for the staff members who are responsible for the different school animals
  • What to wear in times of fire and flood
  • Preparation of the school farm/grounds as a safe area (cleared or very green area with access to water)
  • Prepare all buildings and clear rubbish and vegetation from yards or areas to be used to yard animals
  • If a safer location is available, make the location known to staff and ensure it is accessible at all times
  • Carry out regular training sessions with staff and animals. If animals are regularly moved to the designated safe area they will be more comfortable and able to be moved easily and efficiently in the event of an emergency
  • Have an evacuation kit and make its storage location known
  • Map of the school farm indicating the position of watering points, gates and exits
  • Location of cages and pens for transporting companion and/or native animals
  • Availability and options for transport of livestock
  • Equipment suitable for use with animals during fire (avoid using synthetic or plastic equipment)
  • Contact details for local fire brigades, local ABC radio frequency for information, website address for RFS, local veterinarian, nearby schools
  • During particular weather conditions monitor weather forecasts, RFS bulletins and media broadcasts, especially ABC radio and local community radio stations for emergency information.
Image: Animals should be accustomed to moving and/or transport prior to the emergency situation.

Evacuation kit

Equip a bin (with lid) with the following:

  • wirecutters and a sharp knife
  • torch, portable radio and fresh batteries
  • metal water bucket
  • extra cotton lead ropes and leather halters for cattle and/or horses
  • woollen blanket and towels
  • animal first aid items
  • whatever else you feel is essential for the first 24 hours.

Store the kit in an easily accessible location and don’t use if for anything but emergencies.

After the emergency has subsided, there may be secondary issues that may need consideration. These may include:

  • shortage of available feed
  • damage to fencing and sheds
  • livestock health issues including increased susceptibility to internal parasites and pathogens, skin and foot conditions and physical injuries.


  • Teaching and learning

Business Unit:

  • Curriculum and Reform
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