Everyyear, Texans face natural disasters that often force them to evacuate at amoment's notice. Being a horse or farm animal owner living along the Texas Gulfcoast, can be a challenge when not only are you responsible for evacuating yourself,but also your animals. Here are a few suggestions on how to safely execute anevacuation of your animals when the time comes.
Decide whether or not you willevacuate or shelter in place
Ifyou decide to evacuate:
- Plan on leaving at least 72 hoursbefore a disaster strikes. The last thing you want is to be stuck in trafficwith horses/farm animals in tow.
- Locate potential housing facilitiesfor your horse/farm animal ahead of time.
- Have safe and reliable transportationavailable for your animals.
- Post up copies of an emergencyevacuation plan throughout your barn and home entrances in case emergencyresponders need to be called.
Ifyou decide to shelter in place:
- Decide whether or not your will leaveyour animals inside or out in a pasture of one acre or more, free from debris,power lines, and barbed wire.
- In severe weather conditionsinvolving high winds, it is best to keep animals outside.
- Keep a minimum of 1-2 week's supplyof fuel for a generator.
Make a Farm Animal and EquineDisaster Kit
- Have a kit ready to go ahead of timein a water proof container.
Here are some things you might wantto consider when making your kit:
One-weeksupply of grain and hay
One-weeksupply of water in a plastic tank (e.g.: garbage can)
Batteriesalong with a flashlight and radio
Copiesof vet records and pictures of you with you animal to show proof of ownership
Mapsof the area to find alternate evacuation routes
Detailedinstructions of feeding routines and medication schedules
Hoofknife, nippers, pick, and rasp
Leatheror cotton halters and leads
Plastictrash cans with lids for storing feed and hay
Non-breakablewater and feed buckets
Twitchor nose lead
The disaster is over, what's next?
It is important to stay inside yourhome after a disaster until you are informed by authorities that it is safe togo out. Downed power lines and debris can often injure people and animals, soit is important to keep your animals confined to a smaller pasture until youhave checked all fences and shelter areas. This will also allow the animals toget reacquainted to their surroundings and give you time to make any repairs orclean-up damage caused by the storm.
The Houston SPCA is teaming up with the Tractor Supply Company located at 960 Veterans Memorial Parkway in Huntsville on Saturday, Sept. 29 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for a Mega Mobile Adoption Event featuring cats, dogs and even horses!
Cats and dogs are available to approved adopters for a fee of only $5. The adoption package for a canine or feline is worth well over $400, and includes:
- A health evaluation, initial vaccinations and rabies vaccinations for felines /canines three months and older
- Spay / neuter surgery
- Heartworm testing for canines 6 months and older
- Microchipping with free lifetime registration
- A complimentary overall wellness examination provided by a VCA Animal Hospital
- One bag of cat / dog food courtesy of Hill's Science Diet
The cost to adopt a horse ranges from $100 to $400 and is based on the animal's age, health and temperament. All male equine up for adoption will be gelded, and all equines will be vaccinated, dewormed and have a current Coggins test. Anyone interested in adopting a horse during the mobile adoption event at the Tractor Supply Company in Huntsville must complete the online Equine and Farm Animal Application.
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