Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Diaster Preparedness for Horse Owners

This is from the California Department of Food and Agriculture Animal Health and Food Safety Services. 
PLAN AHEAD: Determine the best place for animal confinement in case of disaster. Find alternate water sources in case power is lost and pumps are not working or have a hand pump installed. You should have a minimum of three days feed and water in hand.

EVACUATION: Decide where to take your horse's if evacuation is necessary. Contact fairgrounds, equestrian centers, and private farms/stables about their policies and ability to take horses temporarily in and emergency. Have several sites in mind. Familiarize yourself with several evacuation routes to your destination.

IDENTIFICATION: This is critical! Photograph, identify, and inventory your horses. Permanent identification such as tattoos, brands, etched hooves, or microchips are best.  Temporary identification, such as tags on halters, neck bands, and duct tape with permanent writing will also work. Include your name and phone number. Keep identification information with you to verify ownership. (Breed registration papers may already have this information.)

MEDICAL RECORDS AND VACCINATIONS: Your horses need to have current vaccinations. Keep medical histories and record special dosing instructions, allergies, and dietary requirements Write down contact information for you veterinarian.

VEHICLES: Keep trailers and vans well-maintained, full of gas, and ready to move at all times. Be sure your animals will load. If you don't have your own vehicles, make arrangements with local companies or neighbors before disaster strikes.

Listen to the Emergency Alert System(EAS) on the TV or radio.

Evacuate your horses early, if possible, to ensure their safety and ease your stress.

Take all vaccination and medical records, the Emergency disaster kit, and enough hay and water for three days.

Call your destination to make sure the site is still available.

Use roads not in use for human evacuation when you transport your horses to the sheltering site.

If you must leave your animals, leave them in the preselected area appropriate for disaster type. Leave enough hay for 48 to 72 hours. Do not rely on automatic watering systems. Power may be lost.


Check fences to be sure they are instinct. Check pastures and fences for sharp objects that could injure horses. Be aware of downed power lines, fallen trees, and debris. Familiar scents and landmarks may be changed, and animals can easily become confused and lost.

If you find someone else's animal, isolate it from your animals until it is returned to its owner or can be examined by a veterinarian. Always use caution when approaching and handling strange or frightened horses.

If you've lost and animal, contact veterinarians, humane societies, stables, surrounding farms, and other facilities. Listen to the EAS for groups that may be accepting lost animals.

Check with your veterinarion for information about possible diseases outbreaks.

Disaster Preparedness Kit
  • Your veterinarian's information
  • Portable radio and extra batteries
  • Plastic trash barrel with the lid
  • Water buckets
  • Feed for 3 days(minimum)
  • Non-nylon leads, halters, and shanks
  • Leg wraps
  • Horse Blanket or sheet
  •  First aid items
  • Tarps
  • Portable generators
  • Flashlights
  • Shovel
  • Lime or bleach
  • Fly spray
  • Wire cutters
  • Sharp knife
  • Hoof pick
  • A current photograph of horse(s)
Now I would like to remember everyone to check with local, state, and federal groups for more info and disaster preparedness. It's not just you and your family that you need to prep for, you also need to prep for you animals if you plan to take them with you. I hope this helps people as it took a while to copy from the booklet.

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