Equine Disaster Check List
Dr. Rebecca McConnico of the LSU Veterinary School put together this list of information specificly for horse owners.
- Be sure your horse is current regarding vaccinations for tetanus and the encephalitis viruses (Eastern, Western, and West Nile)
- Network a "plan" with the horse or farm animal owning neighbors in your area and prepare to help one another.
- Be sure your horse has 2 forms of identification - 1) a brand, tatoo, or microchip, and 2) a luggage-type tag secured to the tail and halter (be sure to use a leather halter for break-away purposes.) A fetlock tag can also be aquired on-line or from a local farm supply. Be sure to place you name, address, and phone number (phone number of someone out-of-state is best in the event of phone outages) legibly on the tag.
- Be sure to store the microchip number and a Coggins form in an accessible location (it is recommended that a family member or friend in a distant location have a second copy). Its also great to have a photo for I.D. purposes.
- If you plan to evecuate in the event of a storm (and you should ALWAY do this when possible) have a destination and route mapped out well in advance. It is important to evacuate your horses a sufficient distance from the coast and a good general guidline is north of Interstate 10. Arrange to leave a minimum of 72 hours before the arrival of the storm. The worse thing that can happen to you is to get stuck in traffic with a trailer full of horses and a hurricane approaching. Provide your neighbors with your evacuation contact information.
- Prepare a waterproof emergency animal care kit with all the items you normally use, including medications, salves or ointment, vetwrap, bandages, tape, etc. Place the kit in a safe place where you can easily access it after a storm.
- Start early to tidy your property and remove all debris that may be tossed around by a storm and hurricane force winds.
- If you plan to weather the storm at home (not usually recommended in much of our area), there are some general guidelines to follow.
- The choice of keeping your hose in a barn or in an open field is up to you. Use common sense, taking into consideration barn structure, trees, power lines, condition of fences and surrounding property, and likelihood of property or structure to flood. Farms prone to flooding or storm surge should turn horses out to avoid them being trapped and thus drown.
- Remove all items from the barn aisle and walls and store them in a safe place.
- Have a 2-3 weeks supply of hay (and something to cover or protect it, like a tarp or plastic) and feed (stored in a watertight container like a plastic trash can).
- Place these supplies in the highest and driest areas of the barn
- Fill clean plastic garbage containers with water and secure the tops and place them in the barn for use after the storm.
- Have an emergency barn kit containing a chain saw and fuel, hammers, saw, nails screws and fencing materials. Place this in a secure area, with power tools and fuel being above the expected flood level.
- Be sure to have an ample supply of flashlights and batteries and other non-perishable items.
- Listen to local radio stations in your area and access state run websites that contain accurate status information, and take all cautions seriously and act accordingly.
- Visit www.LSUEquine.com for more detailed information regarding horse hurricane preparations and other emergency and heath-related information. Also try out The Louisiana Horseman's Guide at www.lahg.net for local horse related and storm related forms and info. They have a form that you post with your horse at an evacuation facility that is very complete. It is also listed with our forms on this website.