Are you prepared for hurricane season? Have a plan! Here are some things to to think about:
1. Pick up and clean up your property. Try to involve and help your neighbors do the same. Loose items and debris can become lethal missiles in a storm.
2. Check your fences, be sure they are sturdy and in good condition. The recommendation is that in a class 1 or 2 storm animals should be safe in a reasonably sturdy barn. In a class 3 or 4 storm, your animals may be safest in a large pasture with room to move around and utilize their best instincts. This is true IF:
a. There are no electrical wires to come down and create hazards with the water that will ensue from heavy rains.
b. The fences are in good repair. We recommend board fences that are nailed to the posts on the inside. This is so that when the horse pushes or leans against them the nails are pushed further into the post, securing the rails, rather than pushing the rails away from the post. Barb wire fencing is not recommended as it will injure the horse. Chain link and horse wire fences are not recommended because they will collect debris, and quite likely go down, allowing your horse to get loose.
c. Your horse is well identified. Use at least three methods of identification. Plan now to have appropriate materials to I.D. your horse on hand at all times. We want to be able to return your horse if its gets loose.
d. Be sure that your horse is wearing a nylon halter. The halter will make it much easier for someone to catch your horse if it gets loose. A leather halter is more likely to break loose if the horse gets caught on something, a nylon halter will not.
Braid a luggage tag into the mane or tail, close to the base. Again be sure it is water proofed.
Attach the pertinent information to the halter. Secure tightly in a plastic bag, and securely tape with packing tape to the halter.
Freeze branding, microchip IDs, and tattoos are permanent forms of identification. However rescuers need to know to look for microchips and tattoos, and they have to be registered and kept current when animals change hands to serve their purpose. More visible identification is more serviceable in a disaster.
Be sure to have photographs of you and your animal to prove ownership. Be sure photos show any distinguishing markings. Keep photos in a safe dry place and send one copy out of area.
|Spray paint your phone number with area code, on the side of the animal. Use acrylic paint. This will wear off in a week or two, sooner with good grooming.
||Attach a fetlock band or mare band to your animal with your name, address, and phone number in permanent ink.
3. It is strongly suggested that your horse have on bell boots to protect its legs.
4. If you plan to evacuate your animal out of the area, plan now for where you will go, and also leave early. Remember that traffic will be heavy and you do not want to get caught on the road with animals in horse trailers. They are unstable in high winds, and horses can easily be injured in the event of an accident.
5. Plan for water and feed your animals. Water is critical, and remember that water on the ground may quickly become contaminated. Plan for a minimum of 12 gallons per day per animal. Remember, if you have a well and a pump, you will not have water if the electricity is out. Store water and food in large tightly covered garbage pails.
6. Begin now to evaluate your barn or stable for its resistance to hurricane winds. Be sure roofs are strong and strapped down, doors and gates are secure.
7. A final point and a strong recommendation is that you have on hand a supply of basic first aid items, i.e., bandages, anesthetics, etc.
More information from the Emergency Management Division - Hurricane Preparation.