On this page:
- Identify your animals
- Emergency situations to plan for
- Prepare an emergency kit
- Additional resources
COVID-19 on your lifestyle block
It’s important you have a plan to ensure your lifestyle block can continue to operate if you, a family member, or a support person to your block contracts COVID-19.
The sector and MPI have developed a detailed checklist to help you create a plan in the event you are required to leave your property and are unable to look after your animals or land. The detail contained in your plan is unique to your own property and circumstances to allow family, friends or neighbours to come in and tend to the immediate needs of your livestock.
On-farm checklist for farmers – Federated Farmers of NZ
Prepare to keep your animals safe in emergencies
Information on this page and in our checklist will help make sure your lifestyle block animals are safe when there is an emergency. Animals on a lifestyle block may include dogs, birds and poultry, cattle, goats, pigs, and sheep.
Checklist: Protect your animals in an emergency [PDF, 331 KB]
Identify your animals
Make sure your animals can be identified in case you are separated.
Using ID tags and microchips
- Add an ID tag to your pet’s collar. Put as much information on the tag that will fit – your pet's name, your name, phone number, and your address. For large animals, like horses, add a tag to their halter, lead, or cover.
- Make sure your pets and horses are microchipped and registered.
- Dogs should be wearing their current registration tag.
- On relevant microchip databases, keep the information about you and the animal up to date. Include next of kin or someone outside your household.
- For livestock, ensure your National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) programme details are up to date.
EXTRA ANIMAL IDENTIFICATION TIPS
Store a current photograph of your pets and horses in a waterproof container
Include notes on any distinguishing features, name, sex, age, colour, and breed. Also include a photograph of you and your animals together to help prove ownership if you get separated.
Save information online
Store important information – microchip details, photographs, medical, veterinary, and contacts – online. For example, you could store it on Dropbox, a mobile phone, or an email account.
Plan for all types of emergency situations
- Fire: Plan how you will get your animals away from the fire zone and where you will go.
- Earthquake: Arrange who will check on your animals after an earthquake.
- Extreme weather: Know what to do if there's a storm coming or plan for dry conditions or droughts.
- Volcanic eruption: Consider how far away you need to get and where you will go.
- Floods and tsunamis: Decide how you and your animals will get to higher ground.
If you're at home
- Have an animal home emergency kit to survive for 3 days unassisted.
- Be prepared to have no water, power, or communications.
- Check on your neighbours and their animals.
- Be prepared to evacuate.
- Keep pets indoors to prevent them fleeing.
If you can't get home
- Pre-arrange for someone to check on your animals.
- Let them know where your emergency kit is stored.
- Make sure they have house or property access.
- Have a plan to communicate with them after the emergency event.
If you have to evacuate
- Beforehand, identify places where you can take your animals (such as neighbours, family, friends, or pet-friendly hotels or accommodation).
- Make sure safe areas are fenced, have a water supply, short pasture, and protection from hazardous elements.
- Identify temporary accommodation for your animal if they can't stay with you (such as a cattery or kennel).
- Take an animal getaway emergency kit.
- Have a way of moving and holding your animals while away from home, for example, a crate, cage, float, truck, trailer, or mobile fence.
- Know where to leave them in a safe place on your property if you can't evacuate your animals quickly.
If it's not safe for you – it's not safe for your animals.
Prepare emergency kits for you and your animals
Check the kits regularly and keep them within easy reach. You might use the kits if help is not readily available, or before you can get to a veterinary clinic.
Have copies and backups of necessary documents and records.
You need 3 kits
- Home emergency kit with enough supplies for 3 days.
- Getaway emergency kit with supplies for moving yourself and your animals.
- Animal first aid kit – put first aid supplies for your animals with your own kit.
First aid kit for animals checklist [PDF, 283 KB]
Who to call for help
You should call 111 if:
- someone's in danger
- someone's having chest pain, breathing difficulties or is seriously ill or injured
- there's a fire or serious risk to property
- a crime is being committed and the offenders are still there or have just left
- you've come across a major public inconvenience, like trees blocking a road.
The operator will connect you to the right service – Police, Fire or Ambulance.
For injured or lost pets
If an animal is injured, or you have lost or found a pet, contact your nearest veterinary clinic.
For lost and found pets, you could also:
- post a notice on www.lostpet.co.nz
- phone 0800 LOSTPET (0800 56 78 73).
Other groups that can help
You local civil defence group can help with:
- general advice and assistance
- finding a safe shelter place (animal shelters, saleyards, or showgrounds)
- animal rescue enquires.
Federated Farmers may be able to provide advice if you need assistance with evacuating your livestock and finding a safe shelter place to contain them:
If you need help to reinstate fencing, contact your local civil defence group, Federated Farmers, or the Rural Support Trust:
Find your local civil defence group – National Emergency Management Agency
More resources and advice
Wallet card: My animals are home alone [PDF, 156 KB]
Fact sheet: Animals in emergencies – Lifestyle blocks [PDF, 508 KB]
Fact sheet: Animals in emergencies – Horses [PDF, 449 KB]
Fact sheet: Animals in emergencies – Pets [PDF, 537 KB]
Fact sheet: Animals in emergencies – Livestock [PDF, 640 KB]
Companion animals in emergencies – Companion Animals NZ
Animals in disasters in Aotearoa New Zealand – World Animal Protection
Contact MPI for more information
If you have questions about planning for your animals in the case of an emergency, contact us:
- phone 0800 00 83 33
- email firstname.lastname@example.org