|Depending on the disaster you may need to evacuate your horse or try to ride out the ordeal at home. Either way, we suggest that you put your plan in writing, and give copies to persons who may become involved in your absence. You will be prepared, and so will they.
RIDING IT OUT
- Trim or remove trees and vegetation near fences, barns, and roadways. Remove all debris that may be tossed around in winds. Use camper tie-downs to secure all vehicles, trailers, and maintenance equipment.
- Inspect the condition of your barn. The choice of keeping your horse in a barn or open field is up to you. Use common sense and also take into consideration trees, power lines, and other conditions of the surrounding property.
- Consider purchase of a solar fence charger.
- Store feed to last two weeks in an air-tight container, raise hay off the ground and cover.
- Fill large plastic trash cans with enough drinking water to last one week. The average adult horse drinks about 10-15 gallons a day.
- Have a chainsaw and extra fuel ready in a safe place along with a hammer, nails, saw, wire cutters, and fencing materials, flashlights and batteries.
- Prepare an emergency animal care kit with all the items you normally use to treat your horse, including a two week supply of any medications.
- Be prepared to handle and increase in flies, mosquitoes, snakes, and angry bees after the storm.
- Before the storm hits, turn off electricity to the barn. Leave a supply of hay and two buckets of water in the stall with each horse. Do not stay in the barn with your horse during the storm.
- After the storm be very careful venturing outdoors. Live wired and dangling branches could be above your head as well as underfoot.
IMPORTANT FOR ALL HORSES
- If you should need to evacuate your horse, where would you go? Now is the time to decide. It may be as simple as hauling him to higher ground, or possibly finding stabling options elsewhere.
- Some suggestions for temporary housing are equine centers, boarding stables, racetracks, and fairgrounds. A reservation and Coggins certificate will be required.
- In the case of a hurricane, plan to leave 48 hours before arrival of the storm.
- Take with a 3-day supply of feed (water if possible), any required medication, two buckets and a pitchfork, leather halter and cotton lead rope.
- If you choose to get out of the area altogether, take all your animals. Don't take your horse but leave dogs, cats, and birds at home alone.
- Update vaccinations and obtain Coggins test.
- Keep in a watertight bag copies of the Coggins certificate, a Bill of Sale for your horse and any registration pape5rs including identifying marks and tattoos. Recent photos of your horse (at least one photo should include the owner) will help prove ownership if necessary. Take this with you if you evacuate!
- Identification is crucial and veterans of past storms have given several suggestions to help reunite animals and owners in the aftermath: dog ID tags with the horse's address, owner's name, and phone number can be attached to the halter. Plastic luggage tags with the same info can be braided into the mane and tail. (Do NOT tie around the tail as it may cut off circulation). Fetlock ID bands can be purchased ahead of time and placed around both front feet before the storm. Consider a microchip for safe and permanent identification of your horse.
- Setting up a "buddy system" with neighbors can help to save the life of your horse.