Disaster preparedness is important for all animals, but it is particularly important for livestock and equine because of the animals’ size and their shelter and transportation needs. Disasters can happen anywhere and can take many different forms, all of which may necessitate evacuation. It is imperative that you are prepared to protect your livestock and/or equine, whether by evacuating or by sheltering in place.
The leading causes of death of large animals in hurricanes and similar events are collapsed barns, dehydration, electrocution and accidents resulting from fencing failure. In a slowly evolving disaster, such as a hurricane, leave no later than 72 hours before anticipated landfall, especially if you will be hauling a high-profile trailer such as a horse trailer.
Take your disaster supplies with you or make sure they will be available at your evacuation site. You should have or be able to obtain feed, water, veterinary supplies, handling equipment, tools and generators.
Inform friends and neighbors of your evacuation plans. Post detailed instructions in several places to ensure they are accessible to emergency workers in case you are not able to evacuate the large animals yourself. Important documents for your livestock and equine should be taken with you in a waterproof envelope, as well as color photographs for identification, emergency telephone numbers and veterinary documents.
James C. Robinson Escambia County Equestrian Center, 7750 Mobile Highway in Pensacola, may accept equine animals during an evacuation as a result of hurricanes, based on the severity of the approaching storm. Once the stalls have been filled, people may bring their animals and keep them in their animal travel trailers if desired. All care of the animals will be at the responsibility of the animal owners. No feeding or care services will be provided by the county or pet shelter managers.
Disaster Supply Kit
In addition to family disaster kits, agriculture producers should also keep on hand additional supplies to protect the farm. These include:
- Sandbags and plastic sheeting, in case of flood
- Wire and rope to secure objects
- Lumber and plywood to protect windows
- Extra fuel for tractors and vehicles stored in a safe location
- Hand tools to assist in preparation and recovery
- Fire extinguishers at all barns and in all vehicles
- A safe supply of food to feed livestock
- A gas-powered generator in case of power failure