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Pet-friendly evacuation centres needed in disasters

Australia’s emergency services need to develop community evacuation plans that will offer temporary shelters for family pets during natural disasters, according to research by James Cook University in northern Queensland.

The study found that when tropical cyclone Debbie swept across the Airlie Beach region in March, many people refused to be evacuated from their homes because they could not take their pets.

Yetta Gurtner and Astrid Vachette from the JCU centre for disaster studies conducted a survey of residents following the cyclone, and will present their findings at a state conference in Brisbane on 6 June.

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