Emergency preparedness for hurricanes includes wind, flood, aftermath for families, farmers and ranchers to minimize losses should include the following considerations:
- Are your home or livestock in a flood zone? Make sure to get flood insurance and animal insurance if necessary.
- Make a household and farm/ranch inventory with pictures or video. Keep insurance policies and inventories in a safe place off site.
- Have a disaster plan in place and practice and have your
“go kit” or ready to bug out bag ready and available.
- Have primary and secondary evacuation sites ahead of time (e.g. livestock auction barns or fairgrounds).
- Animal identification for all livestock, horses and pets.
- Take pictures of your animals and livestock. Make sure that you have your picture taken with your pets. Keep bills of sale and registration for your animals with your insurance policies and inventories. Also, medical papers and vaccination papers.
- If there is no time to evacuate, leave the livestock in a large
debris-free field (this should be last resort).
- Have an out of state contact to keep a copy of all your inventories and records. This contact should be able to contact you during a disaster.
- Call local emergency management office for resources, evacuation routes and facilities that will be available.
- Prepare before and during the watch, so when the advisory and warning come you will not be caught by surprise and unprepared.
- Board windows and doors.
- Secure supplies and equipment for hurricane force winds. Strap trailers and equipment down with anchors.
- Get a list of hotels that accept pets – DO NOT LEAVE COMPANION ANIMALS BEHIND. Make sure to have animal crates that are portable.
- Use leg bands along with other identification on pets.
Emergency Preparedness – After the Hurricane
Emergency preparedness for after the hurricane is just as important as preparing for the hurricane to occur. Flood waters and debris will be contaminated with feces, manure, dead animals, leaking and spilled chemicals and many other toxic things. It is important upon return to disinfect and clean before returning the livestock and
pets after the hurricane emergency.
Fish in a lake in Louisiana after hurricane Ike. Barometric pressure changed so fast during the storm that the lake “turned over”, killing a good portion of the fish.
- Empty all flood water, disinfect water containers with bleach before filling with clean, uncontaminated water.
- Dispose of wet or damp feed and bedding.
- Inspect all animals for injuries and disease.
- Inspect all perimeter fences before returning livestock or horses. Take a metal detector along to find metal pieces that will injure their hooves and allow infection from the contamination.
- Be aware of downed power lines and remaining flood waters.
- Report all dead animals for removal.
- Insects will be a big problem. Make sure to have insect control
- Common pests will be trapped in buildings (e.g. mice, snakes and rats). They will be high up over doors and windows. Make sure to inspect buildings before re-entering.
- Pay attention to the “boil orders” of water for people, livestock and pets until contamination is no longer a threat.
Make sure to have the basic preparedness steps down at all times to make planning and evacuation easier for hurricane emergencies.