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Animal Preparedness

Disaster Preparedness and Evacuation Planning for Livestock

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.