Why livestock owners need to be prepared
Disaster preparedness is important for all animals, but it is especially important for livestock because of the size of the animals and their shelter and transportation needs. Disasters can happen anywhere and take many different forms—from hurricanes to barn fires, floods to hazardous materials spills—forcing possible evacuation. Whether you evacuate or shelter in place, it's important to be prepared to protect your livestock.
One of the smartest things you can do to protect your family and livestock is to make sure you regularly review and update your disaster plan, supplies and information regularly.
Sheltering in place
If evacuation is not possible, a decision must be made whether to confine large animals to an available shelter on your farm or leave them out in pastures. Many factors need to be taken into consideration to figure out what's best in varying situations.
Barn fires: the most common disaster
Preventing barn fires and being prepared in the event of a fire can mean the difference between life and death for your livestock. Knowledge of the danger of fires and how to deal with them is essential, and vigilance is key to prevention.
A successful evacuation plan depends on many factors. We've compiled a detailed list of precautions and do's and don'ts to help you develop a foolproof strategy.
Farm disaster kit
Make a disaster kit so you have supplies on hand in the event of a disaster. Place the kit in a central location and let everyone know where it is. Check the contents regularly to ensure fresh and complete supplies. Here are suggested items to include then add items that you use every day.
Your local humane organization, agricultural extension agent, or local emergency management agency may be able to provide you with information about your community's disaster response plans.