2022 Hurricane Preparation Guide

2022-05-18 Hurricane Guide

Hurricane Preparation

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Page 33 of 47

Page 34 Disaster preparedness is important for all animals, but it is particularly import- ant for livestock because of the animals' size and their shelter and transportation needs. If you think disasters happen only if you live in a flood plain or in a coastal area, you are mistaken. It is imperative to be prepared to protect your livestock. TAKE PRECAUTIONS • Make a disaster plan for property, facilities and animals. Create a list of emergency telephone num- bers, including those of your employees, neighbors, veteri- narian, state veterinarian, poison control, local animal shelter, animal control, county extension service, local agricultural schools, trailering resources and local volunteers. • Include a contact person outside the disaster area. • Make sure all this infor- mation is written down and everyone has a copy. • Make sure every animal has durable, visible identifi- cation. • Ensure that poultry have access to high areas in which to perch, if they are in a flood-prone area, as well as access to food and clean water. • Reinforce your house, barn and outbuildings with hurricane straps. • Perform regular safety checks on all utilities, build- ings and facilities. • Use native and deep-root- ed plants and trees in land- scaping. • Remove all barbed wire and consider rerouting per- manent fencing so animals may move to high ground in a flood and to low-lying areas during high winds. • Install a hand pump and obtain large containers to water animals for at least a week. • Identify alternate water and power sources. • Secure or remove any- thing that could become blowing debris; make a habit of securing trailers, pro- pane tanks and other large objects. • 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 materi- als and place them all in the same safe area. • Remove old, buried trash — a potential source of hazardous materials during flooding that may leech into crops, feed supplies, water sources and pasture. • Review and update your disaster plan regularly. SHELTERING IN PLACE If evacuation is not possi- ble, a decision must be made whether to confine large an- imals to an available shelter on your farm or leave them out in pastures. Owners may believe that their animals are safer inside barns, but in many circumstances, confinement takes away the animals' ability to protect themselves. Whether you evacuate or shelter in place, make sure that you have adequate and safe fencing or pens to separate and group animals appropriately. Contact the state department of agricul- ture and county extension service in advance to learn their capabilities and the most effective communica- tion procedure. EVACUATION PLANNING The leading causes of death of large animals in hurricanes and similar events are collapsed barns, dehydration, electrocution and accidents resulting from fencing failure. Evacuate animals as soon as possible. Be ready to leave once the evacuation is ordered. In a slowly evolving disaster, such as a hurricane, leave no later than 72 hours before anticipated landfall, especially if you will be hauling a high profile trailer such as a horse trailer. Even a fire truck fully loaded is considered "out of service" in winds exceeding 40 mph. If there are already high winds, it may not be possible to evacuate safely. Arrange for a place to shelter your animals. Potential facilities include fairgrounds, other farms, racetracks, humane societ- ies, convention centers, and any other safe and appropri- ate facilities you can find. Survey your community and potential host communities along your planned evacua- tion route. Contact your local emer- gency management authori- ty and become familiar with at least two possible evacua- tion routes well in advance. Set up safe transportation. Take all disaster supplies with you or make sure they will be available at your evac- uation site. If your animals are shel- tered off your property, make sure they remain in the groupings they are used to. Also, be sure they are secure- ly contained and sheltered from the elements whether in cages, fenced-in areas or buildings. Source: The Florida De- partment of Agriculture and Consumer Services' Division of Animal Industry. Protecting livestock from hurricanes FILE PHOTO Livestock should be left outside during a hurricane, as they will likely find their own way to safety. BY CHARLOTTE ANIMAL HOSPITAL Make sure pets are safe and well taken care of during emergencies such as hurricanes. • Make sure pets are vac- cinated. Pet shelters will re- quire proof of vaccinations. • If you don't have a cur- rent photograph of your pet, take one. • Each animal should have a properly sized pet carrier. Carriers should be large enough for the animal to stand and turn around. • Pack a disaster supply kit for your pet that includes: proper ID (including im- munization records and a photo), ample supply of food, ample supply of bottled water, medications, muzzle, collar and leash. It's also a good idea to pack a roll of paper towels and plastic bags for cleanup and waste removal. • Include your pet in your evacuation strategy. Know which shelters allow pets. Other possible refuges for your pet are veterinary clin- ics, boarding facilities and friends' or relatives' homes. • If a storm is imminent, bring pets indoors well in advance. Remain calm and reassure them frequently. Put them in a carrier. • If your animals suffer from storm or separation anxiety, ask your veterinari- an for advice on how to keep them calm. • As an alternative, ask your veterinarian if s/he provides emergency care for pets following disasters. • Obtain the numbers to several veterinarians out- side your immediate area in the event your own veteri- narian's office has to close because of the emergency. • Contact a friendly neigh- bor and make a reciprocal agreement to take charge of each other's pets in the event of an emergency when one of you is not home. Ex- change cellphone numbers if you both have them, and make sure both of you know the location of your pet emergency kits. • Make a list of all phone numbers for your emergen- cy kit. PHOTO PROVIDED Pack a disaster supply kit for your pet that includes: prop- er ID (including immunization records and a photo), ample supply of food, water, medications, collar and leash. Keep your pets safe during emergencies

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