The look on Neil Hughes' face says it all - there's no way he's leaving his horse Bubba in an emergency.
In fact the Moss Vale man brought Bubba to the showground during the summer bushfires, where he was one of the Moss Vale Show Society members who coordinated the large animal evacuation centre.
Show Society secretary Edwina Grant sought refuge there as well, with two of her horses, having come early from Bundanoon ahead of the approaching fire storm.
"I got down her early, but at midnight the place came alive as everyone rushed in," she said.
"A guy turned up with a truck full of show jumpers but all the stalls were full."
It's that sort of situation that has prompted the NSW SES to unleash a new website aimed at helping people prepare to save their animals in an emergency.
They launched it today at Moss Vale Showground, the scene of so much chaos during the summer bushfires.
NSW SES Commissioner Carlene York, Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott MP and Member for Wollondilly Nathaniel Smith came along to lend their weight to what they hope will be a life-saving tool.
"This project is about helping the community prepare to evacuate with their animals, whether they be companion animals or livestock," said Commissioner York.
"Many of our companion animals are family members and many people are reluctant to leave properties if their animals are left behind."
Developed by NSW SES, in partnership with the NSW Department of Primary Industries and funded by Resilience NSW, the website features animal-specific resources, including emergency plans, fact sheets and social media resources.
Mr Smith said that during the bushfires there was clearly a need for people to be more prepared.
"We saw at Moss Vale Services Club and Mittagong RSL Club, it was like Noah's Ark - animals everywhere," he said, adding that on New Years Eve, 749 people headed to Mittagong RSL for shelter.
"This will give the community confidence that if another disaster happens, their companion animal will be taken care of."
Watching on at the launch was SES employee Katy Campbell with her chow chow Rosie. She brings her along to events such as this in an attempt to raise awareness about making a safe plan for your animal.
"I got involved after I had a caller who wanted to know how to save her cat, who was drowning in floodwaters in Lismore a few years ago," said Katy.
Despite Katy pleading with the woman not to enter the water, she eventually did, saying "I'll die for this cat."
They both survived the ordeal, but the strength of the woman's feeling, and the danger to her own life, led Katy to realise how important it was to help people prepare.
For more information and to download your own animal evacuation plan, go to https://www.ses.nsw.gov.au/get-ready-animals/get-ready-animals-splash-page/get-ready-animals/
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