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What You Must Know


What You Must Know

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What You Must Know


What You Must Know

DISASTERS SUCK, EMERGENCIES SUCK

Things You Rely On Suddenly Aren't There, And Everyone Needs More Help Than There Are Resources For Assistance.

It is impossible to predict when something bad will happen and it can be hard to think about big problems when things seem to be going fine. But a situation can go bad way faster than anyone could imagine; all of the sudden you have to react fast and smart. 

A small amount of preparation can truly the difference between life and death for your critters. 

Don't Wait Until It's Too Late!

A small amount of preparation can truly the difference between life and death for your critters.   Below we have compiled information that you need to know if you are going to increase the chance of your pet's survival during an emergency.

Click on the links below or scroll down to the relevant section.

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If You Have To Stay


If You Have To Stay

If You Have To Stay


If You Have To Stay

Emergencies that require shelter-in-place include:

  • Wildfire
  • A hazardous substance in the air
  • A tornado
  • A severe winter storm
  • An earthquake
  • An event that could harm the public, including zombies.

If you have to stay put:

  • Bring your pets inside immediately.
  • Have newspapers on hand for sanitary purposes. Feed animals moist or canned food so they will need less water to drink.
  • Animals have instincts about severe weather changes and will often isolate themselves if they are afraid. Bringing them inside early can stop them from running away. Never leave a pet outside or tied up during a storm.
  • Separate dogs and cats. Even if your dogs and cats normally get along, the anxiety of an emergency situation can cause pets to act irrationally. Keep small pets away from cats and dogs.
  • Make a back-up emergency plan in case you can't care for your animals yourself. Develop a buddy system with neighbors, friends and relatives to make sure that someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so. Be prepared to improvise and use what you have on hand to make it on your own for at least three days, maybe longer.

What to have in the house

  • Minimum 3 days of food, water, medicine and clean up
  • Leashes, crates, carriers
  • Toys, blankets, comfort items
  • Flashlight

If the emergency is related to an environmental hazard

  • Close all windows and doors
  • Tape around windows, air ducts, and vents
  • Turn off fans, heating and air conditioning systems
  • Close the fireplace damper
  • Move to an interior room above ground level
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If You Have To Go


If You Have To Go

If You Have To Go


If You Have To Go

If you have to leave quickly:

When the order comes to leave, take it seriously.
 

  • Shelters: Make a list now, when you don't need it. 
  • Evacuation instructions and preparations: If you had to leave, what would you take, where is all that stuff? 
  • What to have/bring: What is most essential and you cant leave home without? 

 

  • If you evacuate your home, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND! Pets most likely cannot survive on their own and if by some remote chance they do, you may not be able to find them when you return.
     
  • Use a room with no windows and adequate ventilation, such as a utility room, garage, bathroom, or other area that can be easily cleaned. Do not tie pets up!
     
  • Leave only dry foods and fresh water in non-spill containers. If possible open a faucet to let water drip into a large container or partially fill a bathtub with water.
     
  • In an emergency, you may have to take your birds with you. Talk with your veterinarian or local pet store about special food dispensers that regulate the amount of food a bird is given. Make sure that the bird is caged and the cage is covered by a thin cloth or sheet to provide security and filtered light.
     
  • If you are going to a public shelter, it is important to understand that animals may not be allowed inside. Plan in advance for shelter alternatives that will work for both you and your pets; consider loved ones or friends outside of your immediate area who would be willing to host you and your pets in an emergency.
     
  • If you are unable to return to your home right away, you may need to board your pet. Find out where pet boarding facilities are located. Be sure to research some outside your local area in case local facilities close.
     
  • Most boarding kennels, veterinarians and animal shelters will need your pet's medical records to make sure all vaccinations are current. Include copies in your "pet survival" kit along with a photo of your pet.

 

If you have no alternative but to leave your pet at home, there are some precautions you must take, but remember that leaving your pet at home alone can place your animal in great danger!

Confine your pet to a safe area inside - NEVER leave your pet chained outside! Leave them loose inside your home with food and plenty of water. Remove the toilet tank lid, raise the seat and brace the bathroom door open so they can drink.

Place a notice outside in a visible area, advising what pets are in the house and where they are located. Provide a phone number where you or a contact can be reached & vet contact info.

 

WILDLAND FIRE SAFETY FOR YOUR LIVESTOCK AND PETS


LIVESTOCK:   Do not wait until the last minute to start evacuating!

  • Clear defensible space around your barns, pastures and property just as you do your home.  
     
  • Plan ahead, know where you would evacuate the animals Contact your local fairgrounds. stockyards equestrian centers, friends etc. about their policies and ability to take livestock temporarily in an emergency.  Have several evacuation routes in mind.  If you don’t have your own truck and trailer, make arrangements with local companies or neighbors before disaster strikes.  Make sure your neighbor have your contact numbers (Cell phone, work, home, etc.).
     
  • Have vaccination/ medical records, registration papers and photographs of your animals (proof of ownership) and your Disaster Preparedness Kit.
     
  • If you must leave your animals, leave them in a preselected, cleared area. Leave enough hay for 48 to 72 hours. Do not rely on automatic watering systems as power may be lost.

Livestock Disaster Preparedness Kit

  • Hay, feed and water for three days
  • Non-nylon leads and halters
  • First aid items
  • Wire cutters and a sharp knife
  • Hoof pick
  • Leg wraps
  • Shovel
  • Water buckets
  • Plastic trash barrel with a lid
  • Portable radio and extra batteries
  • Flashlights

During a wildland fire, local animal rescue organizations work with law enforcement and fire departments to rescue as many animals as they can. In battling a wildfire, firefighters will do what they can but they are not responsible for evacuating your livestock. Firefighters may cut fences or open gates to free trapped animals.
 

 

IF YOU MUST LEAVE YOUR PET

  • If you must leave your pets, bring them indoors. Never leave pets chained outdoors!
  • Use a room with no windows and adequate ventilation, such as a utility room, garage, bathroom, or other area that can be easily cleaned. Do not tie pets up!
  • Leave only dry foods and fresh water in non-spill containers. If possible open a faucet to let water drip into a large container or partially fill a bathtub with water.

Disaster planning for farm animals

 

Introduction

Do you know how to protect your farm animals from risks posed by natural disasters, including collapsed barns, freezing weather, flooding, dehydration, and electrocution? 

From barn fires to hazardous materials spills to natural disasters, emergency situations often call for special measures to shelter, care for, or transport farm pets, livestock, and poultry. 

Safeguard your animals, your property and your business by taking precautions now, no matter what the risks are in your area. Additional information and assistance can be provided by your veterinarian. 

Step 1: Know the risks and get prepared 

Although the consequences of emergencies can be similar, knowing the risks specific to your community and your region can help you better prepare. It is even more important to be aware of the risks in your area if you live on a farm with livestock and poultry.

Plan to shelter in place

If you remain on your property during an emergency, you will need to decide whether to confine large animals in an available shelter or leave them outdoors. 

Survey your property for the best location for animal sheltering. Ensure that your animals have access to high areas in case of flooding, as well as to food and clean water. 

If your pasture area meets the following criteria, your livestock may be better off out in the pasture than being evacuated. A safe pasture has: 

  • Native tree species only. Exotic trees uproot easily. 
  • No overhead power lines or poles. 
  • No debris or sources of blowing debris. 
  • No barbed wire fencing. Woven wire fencing is best. 
  • At least one acre (0.4 hectares) of open space. Livestock may not be able to avoid blowing debris in smaller spaces.

Ensure that you have enough food and essentials supplies for you and your family for at least 72 hours (three days). 

If your property does not meet these criteria, consider evacuating your animals, but only on the advice of your veterinarian or local emergency management officials. 

Plan to evacuate

  • Contact your local emergency management authority and become familiar with at least two possible evacuation routes. Familiarize all family members and employees with your evacuation plans.
  • Arrange in advance for a place to shelter your animals. Plan ahead and work within your community to establish safe shelters for farm animals, such as fairgrounds, other farms, racetracks, and exhibition centers.
  • Ensure that sufficient feed and medical supplies are available at the destination. 
  • Be ready to leave as soon as an evacuation is ordered. In a slowly evolving emergency, like a hurricane, plan to evacuate at least 72 hours before anticipated landfall, especially if you will be hauling a high profile trailer such as a horse trailer. It may not be possible to evacuate heavy loads safely in high winds. Also, once the emergency hits roads may be restricted to emergency service vehicles and not open to traffic.
  • Set up safe transportation. You will need to have access to trucks, trailers, and other vehicles suitable for transporting each type of animal, along with experienced handlers and drivers. You may need access to a portable loading ramp to load, or unload, animals.
  • If animals are evacuated to a centralized location such as a fair grounds for shelter and will co-mingle with other animals of unknown health status try to:
    • Make sure your animals have sufficient identification (e.g. ear tags or brands) to be able to tell them apart from others.
    • minimize the contact among animals from different premises.
    • protect feed and water from contact with wild animals and birds. Verify the health and vaccination status of animals which must be co-mingled.
    • handle any mortalities in a manner to minimize the possible spread of contagious diseases.
    • monitor the health and well being of the animals on a daily basis, whether sheltered in place or evacuated. Seek appropriate veterinary medical advice and services on suspicion of an animal disease problem.
    • Accommodation will need to include milking equipment for dairy cows (as applicable). Milk may need to be stored separately from cows of other herds. Milk “pickup” companies should be notified where to pick up the milk.

Whether you evacuate or shelter in place, make sure that you have adequate and safe fencing or pens to separate and group animals appropriately. 

When leaving the farm

  • Ensure that the electricity on the farm (typically on a power pole into the farm) is turned off.
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Get Prepared

  • Make sure every animal has durable and visible identification and that you have proof of ownership for all animals. 
  • Reinforce your house, barn, and outbuildings with hurricane straps and other measures. Perform regular safety inspections on all utilities, buildings, and facilities on your farm. 
  • If possible, remove all barbed wire and consider re-routing permanent fencing, so that animals may move to high ground in a flood and to low-lying areas during high winds. 
  • Identify alternate water and power sources. A generator with a safely stored supply of fuel may be essential, especially if you have milking equipment or other electrical equipment necessary to the well being of your animals. Generators should be tested regularly to be sure they will work when needed.
  • Install a hand pump and obtain enough large containers to water your animals for at least a week. Be aware that municipal water supplies and wells may be contaminated during an emergency. 
  • Properly plug any abandoned water wells on the site. The exact method for this varies according to state regulations. Regardless of method, the intent is to prevent contaminated water from entering the groundwater. Production wells should also be checked to see that they are secure from flood waters. It may be necessary to decontaminate wells after a flood.
  • Secure or remove anything that could become blowing debris; make a habit of securing trailers, propane tanks, and other large objects. If you have feed troughs or other large containers, fill them with water before any high wind event. This prevents them from blowing around and also provides an additional supply of water. 
  • If you use heat lamps or other electrical machinery, make sure the wiring is safe and that any heat source is clear of flammable debris. 
  • Label hazardous materials and place them all in the same safe area. Provide local fire, rescue and emergency management authorities with information about the location of any hazardous materials on your property. 
  • Remove old buried trash—a potential source of hazardous materials during flooding that may leech into crops, feed supplies, water sources, and pasture.
  • If there is a threat of flooding, ensure that in-ground manure pits or cisterns are kept at least half full of water of other liquid to ensure that they are not damaged or “floated” by rising groundwater.
  • Chemicals should be stored in secured areas, preferably on high ground and/or on shelving off the ground. These areas should be protected so that chemical spills will not result in any runoff or seepage.

Step 2 : Make an emergency plan

  • Make an emergency plan to protect your property, your facilities, and your animals. Create a contact list of emergency telephone numbers, including your employees, neighbours, veterinarian, poison control, local animal shelter, animal care and control, transportation resources, and local volunteer organizations. 
  • Include an out of town contact person who is unlikely to be affected by the same emergency. Make sure all this information is written down, and that everyone on your farm and your contact person has a copy. 
  • Review, test, and update your emergency plan, supplies, and information regularly.

Step 3: Prepare a farm emergency kit

Make an emergency kit so you have emergency supplies in one location, and let everyone know where it is. Check and update contents regularly. Include the following items and personalize according to your needs: 

  • Current list of all animals, including their location and records of feeding, vaccinations, and tests. Make this information available at various locations on the farm. 
  • Supplies for temporary identification of your animals, such as plastic neckbands and permanent markers to label animals with your name, address, and telephone number. 
  • Basic first aid kit. 
  • Handling equipment such as halters, cages, blankets, and appropriate tools for each kind of animal. Include bolt-cutters to quickly free animals in an emergency.
  • Water, feed, and buckets. Tools and supplies needed for sanitation. 
  • Emergency equipment such as a cell phone, flashlights, portable radios (with weather radio band) and/or Weatheradio, and batteries. Know the weather radio broadcast frequencies and local weather information telephone numbers.
  • Other safety and emergency items for your vehicles and trailers. 
  • Food, water, and emergency supplies for your family.

 

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Large Animals


Large Animals

Large Animals


Large Animals

Larger Animals

  • If you have large animals such as horses, cattle, sheep, goats or pigs on your property, be sure to prepare before a disaster.

 

  • Ensure all animals have some form of identification.

 

  • Evacuate animals whenever possible. Map out primary and secondary routes in advance.

 

  • Make available vehicles and trailers needed for transporting and supporting each type of animal. Also make available experienced handlers and drivers. Note: It is best to allow animals a chance to become accustomed to vehicular travel so they are less frightened and easier to move.

 

  • Ensure those destinations have food, water, veterinary care and handling equipment.

 

  • If evacuation is not possible, animal owners must decide whether to move large animals to shelter or turn them outside.

 

When evacuating, it is important for livestock owners to be prepared to care for their animals while they are away. Please be sure to bring the following items with you:

  • Current list of all animals, including their records of feeding, vaccinations, and tests. Make sure that you have proof of ownership for all animals.
  • Supplies for temporary identification of your animals, such as plastic neckbands and permanent markers to label your animals with your name, address, and telephone number.
  • Handling equipment such as halters and appropriate tools for each kind of animal.
  • Water, feed, and buckets. Tools and supplies needed for sanitation.

Click on the image to download the PDF

 
 

    Horses: National Fire PROTECTION Association

 

Preparing horses for a wildfire evacuation requires an extra level of planning, preparedness and practice. Building an evacuation kit  for each horse, and having a plan for them that’s been practiced, increases the potential your horse(s) will be able to leave when you do. If the wildfire’s proximity does not permit the time needed to load horses, it’s best to turn them loose and not leave them confined in a barn or pasture. Close the doors and gates so they can’t re-enter the area. 

Evacuation preparedness for horses

 

Practicing your evacuation route using your horse trailer ensures it’s compatible with the road’s width and grade on each potential exit route from your home. A stuck trailer could prevent others from using the same path to safely evacuate. It’s important to know any limitations before leaving your property during a wildfire. Always take into consideration that large animals take extra time to evacuate. If you don’t have trailer space for all your horses, have a plan that includes neighbors, friends or relatives that have trailers and can help; or identify an animal emergency response team, or for hire service that will assist with short notice.

Being familiar with what to expect in a wildfire evacuation, knowing how and when to leave and building an evacuation kit (PDF, 8 MB) for each horse will expedite leaving safely when fires happen.

If you’re unable to evacuate with the horse, but have time, using one of the methods below may help animal rescuers reunite you quicker with the horse:

  • Use a livestock crayon to write your name, phone number and address on the horse
  • With clippers shave your phone number into the horse’s coat 
  • Braid a temporary ID tag with pre-written contact info into the horse’s mane
  • Attach a neck band

One way to easily store important information you may need for your horses is to scan the recommended documents and photos on the checklist and keep them on a flash drive that’s permanently stored inside the evacuation kit. Consider having two identical flash drives and give one to a friend or relative that lives in a neighboring community; that will help provide the information you need if there wasn’t time to grab your kit when the public alert was received.

LIVESTOCK:  Do not wait until the last minute to start evacuating!

  • Clear defensible space around your barns, pastures and property just as you do your home.  PRC 4291 requires clearance around all structures on your property.
     
  • Plan ahead, know where you would evacuate the animals Contact your local fairgrounds. stockyards equestrian centers, friends etc. about their policies and ability to take livestock temporarily in an emergency.  Have several evacuation routes in mind.  If you don’t have your own truck and trailer, make arrangements with local companies or neighbors before disaster strikes.  Make sure your neighbor have your contact numbers (Cell phone, work, home, etc.).
     
  • Have vaccination/ medical records, registration papers and photographs of your animals (proof of ownership) and your Disaster Preparedness Kit.
     
  • If you must leave your animals, leave them in a preselected, cleared area. Leave enough hay for 48 to 72 hours. Do not rely on automatic watering systems. Power may be lost.

Livestock Disaster Preparedness Kit

  • Hay, feed and water for three days
  • Non-nylon leads and halters
  • First aid items
  • Wire cutters and a sharp knife
  • Hoof pick
  • Leg wraps
  • Shovel
  • Water buckets
  • Plastic trash barrel with a lid
  • Portable radio and extra batteries
  • Flashlights

During a wildland fire, local animal rescue organizations work with law enforcement and fire departments to rescue as many animals as they can. In battling a wildfire, firefighters will do what they can but they are not responsible for evacuating your livestock.

Firefighters may cut fences or open gates to free trapped animals.

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Lessons Learned


Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned


Lessons Learned

Afterwards:

  • If you leave town after a disaster, take your pets with you. Pets are unlikely to survive on their own.

 

  • In the first few days after the disaster, leash your pets when they go outside. Always maintain close contact. Familiar scents and landmarks may be altered and your pet may become confused and lost. Also, snakes and other dangerous animals may be brought into the area with flood areas. Downed power lines are a hazard.

 

  • The behavior of your pets may change after an emergency. Normally quiet and friendly pets may become aggressive or defensive. Watch animals closely. Leash dogs and place them in a fenced yard with access to shelter and water.

 

  • We can only react to the threats of weather, fire or even a zombie apocalypse, even attempts at prediction are last minute.  The heartbreaking pictures of pets left behind during Hurricane Katrina are a powerful motivator to not let this happen again. We may not be able control a disaster, but we can control how we plan to respond. 
     
  • Failure to plan is a plan to fail, and never more than in these situations.  Do something NOW. 
    At worst you will never need to confront this, but you will be prepared. At best, you WILL be ready to save yourselves and your pets from a disaster.