Updated: Sep 29
Here are some steps for getting ready!!
With hurricane season in full swing and the potential for uncertain weather, discussing hurricane preparedness is important.
Caring for your horses in the event of a major storm can be stressful, but having a plan will save some anxiety and you will feel prepared should a hurricane make landfall near you.
Let’s discuss some of the preparation that should be done before a storm.
Vaccinations and Current Paperwork:
Current on Vaccines: especially Eastern and Western Encephalitis, West Nile and Tetanus. With extreme rain, the threat of contracting these viruses increases as the mosquito burden increases.
Current on Coggins: in the event that you need to evacuate your horses
Have a 30 day health certificate: if horses need to cross state lines
Each horse should have at least one form of ID
1. Microchip: best form of ID as it will not be lost or damaged during the storm
2. A leather halter with your name and information in a waterproof bag secured to the halter
3. Luggage tag with your information braided into the horses tail
4. Phone number shaved or marked on the horses body
5. Have identifying photos of your horses on hand, as you may need to prove ownership for horses found during or after a storm
Feed & Water:
Have a water and feed supply for each animal for at minimum 7 days
12-20 gallons of water per animal per day.
A recommendation is to fill all water troughs and buckets before a storm along with lined trash cans or 55 gallon barrels
Be sure all feed and hay is stored in a dry environment or in water tight containers.
First-aid Kit: This is a good time to take inventory of your equine first-aid kit. Should your animals sustain minor injuries as the effect of a hurricane, the chances of a veterinarian getting to you timely may be slim.
Some common items to keep in a first aid kit:
1. Leg wraps and bandages
3. Topical antibiotic or wound ointment
6. Extra halters and lead ropes
Farm Tools: Some minimal tools should be on hand prior to a hurricane in case you need to mend fences after the storm. A non-exhaustive list might include: chain saw and fuel, hammer and nails, wire cutters, drill and screws, a fire extinguisher, and always duct tape!
Horses in or Out?:
Asses your property for loose items that may become debris during high wind storms and secure them.
Check all fences and decide to keep your horses out during the storm if your barn or shelter is not to be trusted under hurricane-force winds. A horse is safer to fend for themselves in an open pasture rather than a barn that is not built for high winds and chance the structure collapsing.
Park all equipment, vehicles, or trailers in an open area away from trees or falling debris.
If you intend to evacuate make sure you fully inspect your truck and trailer for hauling long distances.
Evacuation: If you decide evacuation is best for you and your animals know ahead of time where your large animal shelters are and make sure you have the capacity to take all of your animals. Contact the shelter prior to showing up to ensure there is room for you. Ensure you have all necessary paperwork before making the trip. ( Health Certificate/Coggins)
Now is the time to become prepared if you are new to North Carolina or have never had a hurricane plan before. It is much easier to execute a well thought out plan than come up with a plan in a time of crisis. Stay connected, use your common sense, and above all always prioritize your personal safety.