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Disaster Preparedness Month

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  • Disaster Preparedness Month

    This happens to have me in a tizzy. I don't know why-I have only ever had fleeting about disasters before. However, a few weeks ago, I did have a horrific dream about having to evacuate my horses and family. This most likely has something to do with it my mental state now.

    Does everyone have an emergency plan? What is it?
    It is recommended to have a 72+ hour kit, how do you do this with horses? Where would you go? Those of you that do not own trailers-what is YOUR plan?

    I live in Michigan, so the most probable disasters are Severe Winter Storm (Been there done that-was'nt easy, but we all survived), Tornado-So far we have not had one touch down close enough to us for this to be a concern. Perhaps flooding, then of course Man Made Disasters.

    Insight? Discussion?
    "The Friesian syndrome... a mix between Black Beauty disease and DQ Butterfly farting ailment." Alibi_18

  • #2
    We had a December wind storm about two years ago that turned our area into a third world country. No power for 5-10 days. Drug stores couldn't run computers, so no prescriptions, gas station pumps didn't work (though there were two right next to the hospital that did. Many of our neighbors had fir trees through their houses (2'-4' in diameter).

    We were lucky that we had a generator and the ability to power some circuits in the house. We ended up as the refuge for the neighborhood small pets and reptiles.

    My horse didn't care about lack of electricity and wi-fi connectivity at all. My daughter was in deep withdrawl without internet access to the boyfriend.

    The only disaster that would threaten my horse's well-being is an earthquake. If water service is disrupted, we would have to bring water from a lake a couple miles away. The barn has months worth of hay on premises, so we would be ok there.

    I now have an emergency stockpile out in my garden shed (in case an earthquake brings down the house - we're due for a 9.0 anytime). The only thing I need to do is get some of my DH's meds to put aside, since he wouldn't last long without them. Our (previous) dr wasn't any help with that; maybe our new one will be.

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    • #3
      Having survived two disasters in two years...

      Keep current, negative coggins on your horses (maybe places won't accept evacuees who don't have them).

      Know where needed stuff is - like coggins, insurance info (for horses, vehicles, homeowners), medications/vaccinations, halters and leads, etc.

      Keep an eye on the weather.

      If you live in fire-prone, flood-prone or hurricane-prone area, have evacuation routes, places you can evacuate to, etc. lined out. If you have more horses than trailer space, know who can help you move them.

      If a disaster (say tornado) hits while you are home, stay inside until storm is passed (you aren't going to do your animals good if you are dead). Once it is safe to be outside - check your fences. With this year's tornado, husband checked perimeter fences while I called the insurance company. He forgot to check the cross fence. Luckily, the stallion thought it was still up and wasn't going anywhere near the fence (we have electric fence for him). When I went out to check, I saw it was down and got him into a small pen away from the girls. We did not need tornado babies.

      If one hits, call your insurance as soon as you have secured your animals. The sooner you call them, the sooner they will start working on the claim. If there is much damage, it will be a nightmare.

      There's a lot of debate about out vs in - but I'll leave mine out in the future. With the hurricane, we had evacuated. however, the way our barn came apart, we would have had dead horses if we had been home and left them in. With the tornado, they were out - they dodged the flying debis (including sheet metal that flew about 1/2 mile). If they had been in their little stalls, they may have been badly hurt (one small barn had a hole punched in it and a shed set down on top of it. Another shed with stalls had the room ripped off).

      I'm sure I could write more and more... but those are the starters.
      Visit us at Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society - www.bluebonnetequine.org

      Want to get involved in rescue or start your own? Check out How to Start a Horse Rescue - www.howtostartarescue.com

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      • #4
        We've had a hurricane or two. And the odd tornado.

        But we're thirty-five miles inland, so we don't evacuate. You never know which way the damn hurricanes will head! During Hugo, Charlotte, NC got worse damage than we did.

        So I:

        leave horses out. But their shelter is accessible to them 24/7. I designed my farm that way, for just this reason. Horses seem to know better than we do when they need to be in and when they need to get the heck away from man-made structures.

        fill up everything available with water (the bathtub, all troughs, DH's carboys he uses for beer and wine-making, dog dishes, etc.) because we have an electrically-powered well pump. Which may not work for two weeks or so after a hurricane.

        put away anything that could become a missile in a high wind.

        Then I have a word of prayer, open a bottle of wine, and wish I had a generator.
        I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show

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        • #5
          I have five 55 gallon drums filled with water and stored out by the barn. It will tide my two horses over for a while if there's an emergency. I have 9 months worth of hay stored. I have my own trailer, and never let my fuel tank get under 1/2 full, just in case I need to leave. My horses are great loaders, and I work on keeping them that way.

          I have food storage for me and my family, plus water stored for us as well. Candles, batteries, first aid kits, sanitation supplies, water purifier.

          Hopefully I'll never have to use any of it.

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          • #6
            Best advice I ever received on this was given by a vet at the USEA 2005 annual meeting held in Charlotte instead of New Orleans as originally planned. I can't remember his name, but he worked with the Fed Gov't in emergencies since Hurricane Andrew.

            He emphasized repeatedly that you must make your own plans and do not depend on anyone else to come to your rescue. Decide what you will do, stay or leave. If you plan to stay - prepare to support yourself, your family and your animals for to up 7 days. That means food, water, power, medicines etc. You can consider making arrangements with nearby neighbors, but understand they may be hit worse that you, as in tornadoes that randomly destroy structures.
            If you plan to leave, know where you are going and make certain 'everyone' will be welcome. Practice gathering up your animals (cats and dogs) and loading your horses.
            All very impressive especially after the damage of Hurricane Katrina.
            "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
            Courtesy my cousin Tim

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