SUNSHINE STATE HORSE COUNCIL Data Base for available emergency barns -

Disaster Preparedness Tips - Horse Evacuations -

FL Divison of Emergency Mangement - Current Conditions

How To Fireproof Your Barn - courtesy www.equisearch .com -

Hurricane Preparedness for Horses -
courtesy University of FL - IFAS Extension

 

We need your help in this difficult time!
Please make DONATIONS
through the Sunshine State Horse Council :
SSHC has a Rescue Fund already set up, made payable to
AHOOF-SSHC and mail to:
Vicki Lawry, 116 Hickory Creek Drive, Brandon. FL 33511
Attention: Relief/Rescue Fund.

Further information: email, VicshadyL@aol.com -
We all thank you!


HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS INFORMATION

National Weather Service Florida Live Radar (all areas)

HOW TO PREPARE YOUR HORSES AND BARN BEFORE THE STORM BLOWS IN!
We would like to thank Robert Meehan,
Member – Palm Beach County Large Animal Disaster Team
for this great article.

The past 25 years have seen a tremendous growth in Florida's animal population, especially in South Florida where the tropical climate has encouraged a wide variety of exotic pets and livestock. Coincidentally, during much of this time there also was a general absence of natural disasters, especially hurricanes. The result was widespread complacency among a large and growing number of animal owners, not to mention local governments.

That all changed in 1992 with Hurricane Andrew. Since then, the state of Florida has required that county governments form an extra emergency support function within their emergency management section to deal specifically with animal disasters.


Hurricane Andrew, Redlands, Florida – 20 miles inland - Photo by John Ehmke
© H.A.A.R.T. Foundation & John Ehmke Photography

Broward and Palm Beach counties have been two of the leaders in this effort. They have animal rescue teams on hand, and have worked with animal experts to spread the word among animal owners about how to prepare for a hurricane, and what to do if one strikes.

The following information deals mostly with horses, but specialized tips are available for dogs, cats, birds, farm animals and exotics as well. Simply contact your county animal disaster team, which is part of your county's emergency management agency. You can also request information on how these animal rescue teams operate, and what would be expected of you, the owner, in the event of a hurricane.

Vaccinations
The very first thing to do and in many ways the most important is make sure your horse is up-to-date with a tetanus booster and has had a vaccination for encephalitis, commonly known as sleeping sickness. This disease is carried by mosquitoes and the height of infection is July and August, just when storm, hurricane and flood season is at its height.

This disease can kill both humans and horses, and should not be taken lightly. Horses should be vaccinated at least every six months, but most large stables do this every four months. See your personal veterinarian for details.

Neighborhood Disaster Committees
Most horse owners live in horse communities. Contact your neighbors long before hurricane season, and organize your own neighborhood disaster committee. Schedule meetings at which horse owners discuss who has what in the way of equipment, concrete barns, flood areas, etc., and explore ways in which neighbors can help neighbors to accomplish a great deal. Contact your county animal disaster team and they will be glad to help you form such a committee.

Animal Identification
After Hurricane Andrew, 80 % of the horses found carried no identification. This made the job of reuniting animals and owners much more difficult. Veterans of that storm compiled a list of suggestions to help ensure that your animal can be identified in the confusion that follows a hurricane. The following list includes a variety of alternatives from which you can choose:

  • Take a picture of your horse with a family member in the photo as well. Then staple a copy of your current Coggins test to the picture with any other information such as tattoos, microchip ID, special scars and any other permanent identification, your local vet's name and number and any medications your horse may need. Place all these items in a zip-lock bag, and keep them in a safe place where you can get to them after a hurricane.
  • Purchase fetlock ID bands and place them on both front feet before a hurricane hits.
  • Put a leather halter on your horse with a luggage tag attached showing the horse's address, phone number and owner's name and any medication information. Write any special needs on an index card; place this inside a small zip-lock bag, and wrap it around the side of the halter with tape.
  • Take a second luggage tag with the same information and braid it into the horse's tail hair.
    Caution: Do NOT tie the tag around the tail; this would cut off circulation.
  • Neck ID bands with the same information can also be used. Check with your local tack store.
  • Using small animal clippers, body clip the same phone number your horse's neck.
  • A permanent method of identification is Freeze Branding. For further information on this option, check out: www.horseweb.com/kka
  • Do not put a copy of the horse's Coggins test on the horse. Animal Rescue may not be the ones to find your horse. A coggins test is a passport out of state and, as we learned from Andrew, not everyone is honest.

    One of the goals of Animal Rescue is to find loose horses and get them reunited with the owners as soon as possible. These suggestions will help tremendously. Remember, you cannot have too much identification with your horse.

Evacuation
If you plan to evacuate in the event of a storm, have a destination and routes thought out well in advance. January, February and March would be good months to do this. Plan to leave 48 hours before the arrival of the storm. The worst thing that can happen to you is to get stuck in traffic with a trailer full of horses and a hurricane approaching. Hurricane Andrew tossed loaded tractor trailers around like they were match sticks.

By the way, 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.

Hurricane Shelter Stabling

Emergency stabling is available on a limited basis. For a listing of stables, please call:

Sunshine State Horse Council - Searchable stable directory
Sumter Equestrian Center, Bushnell, FL - emergency stabling and camping - 352-303-4325 LEAVE A MESSAGE.
Marion County Animal Care and Control (352) 671-8900
Broward County Animal Care and Control (954) 359-1313
Palm Beach County Are and Control (561) 233-1201

The list of stables may change at any time due to the projected path and size of the approaching storm. Call those stables and find out about availability and any appropriate fees. Do not wait until the last minute to seek emergency stabling!

Preparing for a Hurricane
Regardless of whether you stay or evacuate, start early to clean up your property and remove all debris that may be tossed around by hurricane winds. If you plan to weather the storm at home, here are some guidelines:

  • The choice of keeping your horse in a barn or an open field is entirely up to you. Use common sense, taking into consideration barn structure, trees, power lines, and the condition of surrounding properties.
  • Remove all items from the barn aisles and walls, and store them in a safe place.
  • Have two weeks supply of hay (wrapped in plastic or waterproof tarp) and feed (stored in plastic water-tight containers). Place these supplies in the highest and driest area possible.
  • Take two plywood boards and spray paint on one side of each board, "HAVE ANIMALS, NEED HELP." On the other side of each board paint, "HAVE ANIMALS, AM OK FOR NOW." Put both plywood boards with your feed supply.
  • Fill clean plastic garbage cans with water, secure the tops, and place them in the barn.
  • Prepare an emergency animal care kit (waterproof) with all the items you normally use: medications, salves, ointments, vetwraps, bandages, tape, etc. Place the kit in a safe place where you can get to it after a storm.
  • Have an emergency barn kit containing a chain saw and fuel, hammers, a saw, nails, screws and fencing materials. Place this kit in a secure area before the storm hits.
  • Have an ample supply of flashlights and batteries, and at least one battery-operated radio.
  • Using camper tie-downs, secure all vehicles, trailers and maintenance equipment.
  • Notify neighbors where you will be during the storm.
  • Before leaving the barn, attach identification to all horses.
  • Turn off circuit breakers to the barn before leaving. A power surge could cause sparks and fire.
  • Do not stay in the barn with your horse during the storm.
  • Place a supply of water and hay with each horse.

Remember, trees could be down blocking roads, and you may not be able to return to the barn immediately following the storm. Leave two buckets of water in your horse's stall.

Hurricane Preparedness for Horses - courtesy University of FL - IFAS Extension

 

Make an Emergency Plan for your Household Pets
See Ready.gov Pets Instructional Video

Make an Emergency Kit for your Pets

 

After the Storm
After the storm has passed, roads will probably be blocked or flooded. Working in pairs, try to locate your nearest neighbor. Here are some other post-disaster pointers:

  • Be very careful when you venture outside. Live electric wires could be all around you.
  • See to your animal's needs, keeping them as calm as possible.
  • Carefully try to clean debris from the barn, and clear the driveway out to the road.
  • Place one of the plywood signs you made earlier at the edge of your driveway, at the roadside, with the appropriate writing facing the road. Place the other sign in a clear area with the appropriate side facing upwards. Aircraft will be flying overhead, and this will help them determine the severity of the effects of the storm. If you do not have a severely injured animal, put the OK sign up. In either case, help will get to you as soon as possible.
  • Watch for fire ants. Ants will look for the driest place to nest and will move from wet to high ground when their nests flood. Check your barn/stall walls and feed/hay areas. Ants will also seek refuge from wet ground on fence rails and tree branches, so take care when clearing debris after a storm.
  • Snakes will also seek high ground. Do not put your hands or feet in recesses you cannot see. Snakes will also hide between hay bales and banked shavings.

 

WHEN NATURE TURNS NASTY - by Sarah L. Evers

Blizzards, hurricanes, floods, mudslides, earthquakes, droughts, ice storms, fires—let’s face it, nature can get quite nasty at times. Not only can our lives be at risk, but our horses could be in danger, too. After all, they depend on us for their overall care and well-being. Horse owners and caretakers can save lives before, during and after a disaster with proper disaster management planning.

Click here for this pdf article

*********************

All of us hope we never need to use this information, but in the event of a hurricane, proper preparation can help both you and your animals survive the storm.

Information Sources:

Marion County Animal Care & Control (352) 671-8900
Marion County Office of Emergency Management (352) 622-3205
Marion County Agricultural Extension Agency (352) 620-3440
Orange County Animal Services Division (407) 352-4390
Broward County Animal Care & Control 954-359-1313
Broward County Office of Emergency Management 954-831-8740
Broward County Agricultural Extension Agency 954-370-3725
Dade County Animal Control 305-884-1101
Dade County Emergency Management 305-273-6700
Palm Beach County Animal Control 561-233-1200
Palm Beach County Emergency Management 561-233-3500
Palm Beach County Large Animal Information 561-793-3680
Martin County Animal Control 561-287-1656
Martin County Emergency Management 561-287-1652
St. Lucie County Animal Control 561-871-5042
St. Lucie Emergency Management 561-461-5201
Identification Fetlock Bands 561-795-2466


Alphabetical listing of Florida Emergency Management Website by Counties:

 

Special thanks go to Broward County Large Animal Disaster Team, Palm Beach County Emergency Support Function 17, Palm Beach County Horse Industry Council, Dr. Ford Ransome and the H.A.A.R.T. Foundation, Dr. Rob Boswell and Palm Beach Equine Clinic and Dr. Bob Smith with Palms West Equine Hospital for all their help in presenting this information.

Source of Information: Palm Beach County Emergency Support Function 17 Plan and Broward County Emergency Support Function 17 Plan.

This section prepared by Robert Meehan, Member – Palm Beach County Large Animal Disaster Team (561-793-3680)

Additional links:

LET'S ALL KEEP OUR FINGERS CROSSED FOR A SAFE HURRICANE SEASON!

 

Academies | Articles | Businesses | Classifieds | Clinics | Employment | Equestrian News | Farms | Farriers | Feed/Hay | Gifts/Jewelry | Horse Events | Horse Sales | Hurricane Info | Insurance | Legal/Accounting | Other Links | Publications | Photo Contest | RealEstate | Rates | Show Dates | Stallions | Stalls/Barns for Rent | Stolen Horses | Trainers | Transportation | Vacations | Veterinary | Contact Us | Home |

 

© 2012 Copyright Florida Horse.Com - All Rights Reserved