In the wake of Hurricane Sandy heading into the Northeast portion of the country, we have to make sure not only that humans are safe, but also our horses and pets. Steps should be taken before the disaster strikes. (I know it is a bit late for Hurricane Sandy.) These should be in place at all times for any disaster whatsoever.
1. Do you have a plan in place? Create a family and business emergency plan for people, horses and pets. Know the risks for your community. Livestock operations must implement bio-security practices to protect their operation from accidental or intentional outbreaks of devastating animal diseases.
2. Are you prepared in case an emergency should arise? Involve all family members or employees in practicing your plan. Gather all necessary supplies you will need during an emergency. Create prioritized lists of needed actions.
- Have contact info for your veterinarian and farrier in an accessible place, ready at a moments notice.
- Make sure all necessary paperwork (registration papers, medical papers, etc.) are at hand, ready to grab when needed.
- In case of evacuation, do you have a place arranged ahead of time to bring your horses and pets?
3. Communicate!! Families should agree upon a place to meet and an out of the area contact through which to communicate, if they are separated.
4. Do you have identification for you horses and pets? Provide individual identification for pets and horses (tags, microchips, photos, etc.). Store photos and copies of brand and registration papers away from home.
5. Do you have transportation or arranged to have transportation for your horses? Teach all horses to load quickly and safely. Have halters and leads ready and any other supplies you may need for horses. Have airline kennels, collars, leashes, harnesses, and other pet supplies ready for pets.
6. Co-operation. Work with friends and neighbors to help ensure timely evacuation and other emergency care for all animals during crisis.
7. Involvement. Become involved with your County Animal Response Team and other voluntary and emergency organizations in your community.
The County Animal Response Teams are always seeking volunteers and donations. There never seem to be enough. If interested in volunteering, or making a donation, contact your local County Animal Response Team to find out how you can help.
When disaster strikes, the best thing to do is to be ready for it.
Pennsylvania License #RS297130
Rural and Horse Properties and Farms