When it comes to mother nature, there’s not anything we can do to stop it. From floods to high winds, we’re at the mercy of whatever the storm will do, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be as prepared as possible when it comes to our horses.
Tips to Prepare for an Oncoming Storm
The AIG Private Client group offers these tips when it comes to preparing your barn and horses for a hurricane:
- Move tack, equipment and trunks to a secure location away from exterior openings. Elevate personal property as much as possible in case water pools on the floor around the exterior. Clear items not permanently or securely attached from all barn aisles and walls and store them in a safe place.
- Secure moveable objects around barns and structures. Jumps, rails, signage and lawn furniture should be moved and secured in a safe location to prevent them from acting as projectiles and causing damage.
- Relocate vehicles, tractors and trailers to an area where trees cannot fall on them if possible, but be sure they will still be accessible to use for evacuation, emergencies and clean-up.
- Turn off power to the barn and other structures prior to the storm hitting.
- If your water supply requires a pump (and power to operate) have a generator in place to run the well, if it isn’t equipped with a manual pumping option. Ideally, each horse should have 12-20 gallons per day stored. Fill all water buckets, troughs and any extra containers. Identify an extra water source when possible.
- Store a week worth of feed and hay as roads may be closed due to down power lines or trees limiting access to feed stores. Cover hay with waterproof tarps and place it on palates if stored in open sheds. Keep grain in water tight containers.
- If horses are not marked with permanent identifications (tattoo or microchips) consider identification information using spray paint or livestock markers, ID band/tag around the horse’s pastern; a phone number body-clipped into the horse’s hair coat; a luggage tag braided into the mane; or halter with a tag.
If You Need Evacuation Support
The National Equine Evacuation Directory organizes trailering, stabling, veterinary care and other support during natural disasters. Run by Fleet of Angels, recipients of the 2017 ASPCA Equine Welfare award, the evacuation directory offers quick, easy to find information for horse owners in need.