This is brush fire season, tornado season and starting June 1st, it will be hurricane season. There isn’t any area of the United States that is immune from some type of natural disaster. What are your emergency preparedness plans? And are all of your equine insurance policies providing the coverage you may need?
With a focus on tornadoes, consider this – on average, there’s only about 13 minutes between when the Warning is issued and when the tornado strikes ground. 2017 could be one of the most active in recent history. As of May 1st, 567 tornadoes have been confirmed which is almost 100 more than average.
Regardless of how active the season may be, play it safe and be ready for any severe weather event. Have your emergency plans in place. It is clearly essential to protecting life and property. The following 25 tips are offered as reminders:
Before a Disaster:
• Survey your property for the best location to confine each animal.
• Have an evacuation plan to relocate animals if necessary. (Write down the route and alternate routes to fairgrounds, other farms, race tracks and humane societies that can provide shelter.) List the animals evacuated and where they go.
• Have a current list of all the horses on the property. Include essential records, care instructions and owner contact information.
• Maintain an inventory of horse and farm equipment as well as your household contents.
• Alternate water and power sources should be identified. Plan for power outages.
• Portable radios, flashlights, extra batteries, portable generators are all good to have on hand; and your fully charged handheld communication devices.
• Keep first-aid/emergency kits stocked – for horses and for humans.
• Have a list of all resources with phone numbers for your vet, feed & essential suppliers, horse hauler, insurance agents and company claims department.
• Have a list all emergency telephone numbers (fire, police, vet, clinics, hospitals, ambulance, and poison control). Make many copies and have them available at various locations on the property.
• Make sure your local fire department knows your exact location. Arrange for a visit so they are better prepared to react to your needs when required.
• Assign job descriptions to staff/caretakers/volunteers on who does what and calls whom.
• Conduct emergency drills. Keep vehicle gas tanks full.
• Have enough water/feed for 72 hours. Secure it before the disaster occurs.
• Make sure all horses are identified with halters or neck straps and possible splint boots or bandages with information on the horse inside. Spray paint names or I.D. on horses left out to weather the storm.
• Make sure you have adequate insurance to protect against a variety of perils and losses.
• Plan, plan, plan and write it down!
After a Disaster:
• Call all owners regarding the disaster, even if there is no damage or injury.
• Check all the fencing and check pastures and gates for any sharp objects.
• Look for unsafe conditions such as downed power lines, the smell of gas and unstable structural conditions.
• Be aware of wild animals and snakes.
• If horses are lost, contact local farms, veterinarians and humane societies.
• Be cautious in approaching animals that have gone through a disaster as they may be frightened and unruly.
• Check with your vet and Department of Agriculture for information about possible disease outbreaks.
• Inventory all horses and examine them for injuries.
• Check all feed and supplies for needed replacement.
Search online information and resources specific to your area. Do not hesitate to call your equine insurance agent anytime to review coverage.