Horse Owners Guidelines to Disaster Preparedness
In light of all the disasters occurring all over the nation and the world, taking steps ahead of time to protect the safety and well-being of your animals during a disaster emergency, can mean the difference between life and death.
How do you go about making an emergency plan? Here are the steps to take before disaster strikes.
- Develop a plan of action for each disaster that can accur in your area, such as fire, tornado, flooding, earthquake, or even man made. In clude a list of resources (suppliers, trucks and trailers), evacuation sites, emergency phone numbers, and anyone that can help during an emergency. Include important papers with the plan. Review the plan regularly with all involved.
- Post emergency phone numbers in a visible location in the stable or barn. Even though you may know these numbers by heart, in a panic situation, the mind tends to go blank.
- Find the best location on your property for animal confinement for each type of disaster. Identify food and water sources that do not depend on electricity, in case of a power outage.
- Decide where to take the animals in case of an evacuation. Contact fairgrounds, race tracks, equestrian centers, private farms or stables and humane societies about their policies and the ability to take horses in case of emergencies.
- Map out several evacuation routes to your destination. Heavily travelled routes should be avoided if at all possible.
- Microchip your horses for permanent identification - or temporarily with fetlock or neck identification bands or a halter with identification attached, or painted or etched hooves. Photograph your horses from all sides, including the face and legs. Record the breed, sex, age, and color. Keep the copies along with important papers together.
- Keep up to date with vacinations and boosters along with a current Coggins Test. Record dates, dosages and types of medications or health products the animals have received. Record dosing instructions and dietary requirements. Include this information with the Disaster Plan.
- Clearly identify for volunteers which animals should be evacuated first, in the event that not all animals can be moved. Make sure all are aware of your wishes.
- Lastly, compile an Emergency Disaster Kit. (See below of the items that should be included.) Make sure it is always ready and on hand to grab in the event of an emergency.
Emergency Disaster Kit should include:
- Water bucket
- Leg Wraps
- Leads, halters
- Plastic trash barrel with lid
- Portable radio
- Extra batteries
- Lime, bleach
- First aid items
- Sharp knife
- Wire cutters
- Fly spray
- Important papers and instructions
Remember: "Failing to plan is planning to fail". Be prepared for when disaster strikes. It can strike at any time without prior knowledge, so be prepared for when it does happen.
Brigita McKelvie is a REALTOR® (Pennsylvania License #RS297130) with Cindy Stys Equestrian & Country Properties, specializing in rural and horse properties and farms in Eastern Pennsylvania. She has an e-Pro® (Certified Internet Expert) certification and a GRI (Graduate, REALTOR® Institute) designation.
Brigita McKelvie, REALTOR
Pennsylvania License #RS297130
Rural and Horse Properties and Farms
Cindy Stys Equestrian & Country Properties, Ltd.
The Premier Equine and Country Real Estate firm serving Eastern Pennsylvania from back yard operations to world class equestrian facilities.
Use a REALTOR with "horse sense" that doesn't horse around when it comes to horse properties.