Pets, Animal & Livestock
Are you prepared for the next disaster?
Although Hurricanes pose the strongest threat to coastal regions, storms that form in the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico have the potential to bring storm surge, high winds, tornadoes and inland flooding across Georgia. It is important to take time now to prepare in advance.
- Prepare by assembling a Ready kit of supplies for both your home and your car.
- Make a plan for responding to various threats and reconnecting with family members if you are separated during a disaster.
- Stay informed about your risk for a range of emergencies and make sure you have a way to stay connected during a disaster.
In an emergency, your pet will depend on you for his or her safety and well-being. It’s up to you to protect Fido or Fluffy when the unexpected hits, so create a Ready kit and emergency plan for your pet today.
Prepare with a pet Ready kit
Include basic survival items and items to keep your pet happy and comfortable. Start with this list, to find out exactly what items your pet needs to be Ready.
- Food. At least a three day supply in an airtight, waterproof container.
- Water. At least three days of water specifically for your pets.
- Medicines and medical records.
- Important documents. Registration information, adoption papers and vaccination documents. Talk to your veterinarian about micro chipping and enrolling your pet in a recovery database.
- First aid kit. Cotton bandage rolls, bandage tape and scissors; antibiotic ointment; flea and tick prevention; latex gloves, isopropyl alcohol and saline solution. Including a pet first aid reference book is a good idea too.
- Collar or harness with ID tag, rabies tag and a leash.
- Crate or pet carrier. Have a sturdy, safe crate or carrier in case you need to evacuate. The carrier should be large enough for your pet to stand, turn around and lie down.
- Sanitation. Pet litter and litter box if appropriate, newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags and household chlorine bleach.
- A picture of you and your pet together. If you become separated, a picture of you and your pet together will help you document ownership and allow others to assist you. Add species, breed, age, sex, color and distinguishing characteristics.
- Familiar items. Familiar items, such as treats, toys and bedding can help reduce stress for your pet.
Make an Emergency Plan
If you leave your pets behind, they may be lost, injured – or worse. Never leave a pet chained outdoors. Plan options include:
- Create a buddy system in case you’re not home. Ask a trusted neighbor to check on your animals.
- Most public shelters can’t accept pets due to health regulations, so plan accordingly.
- Find pet friendly hotels along your evacuation route and keep a list in your pet Ready kit. Visit GoPetFriendly.com for hotels outside Georgia.
- Locate boarding facilities or animal hospitals near your evacuation shelter.
- Consider an out-of-town friend or relative
- Locate a veterinarian or animal hospital in the area where you may be seeking temporary shelter, in case your pet needs medical care. Add the contact information to your Ready kit.
Remember, during a disaster what’s good for you is good for your pet, so get them ready today.
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.
- Make a disaster plan to protect your property, your facilities, and your animals. Create a list of emergency telephone numbers, including those of your employees, neighbors, veterinarian, state veterinarian, poison control, local animal shelter, animal care and control, county extension service, local agricultural schools, trailering resources, and local volunteers.
- Include a contact person outside the disaster area. Make sure all this information is written down and that everyone has a copy.
- Make sure every animal has durable and visible identification.
- Ensure that poultry have access to high areas in which to perch, if they are in a flood-prone area, as well as to food and clean water.
- Reinforce your house, barn, and outbuildings with hurricane straps and other measures. Perform regular safety checks on all utilities, buildings, and facilities on your farm.
- Remove all barbed wire, and consider rerouting permanent fencing so that animals may move to high ground in a flood and to low-lying areas during high winds.
- Install a hand pump and obtain enough large containers to water your animals for at least a week (municipal water supplies and wells are often contaminated during a disaster).
- Identify alternate water and power sources. A generator with a safely stored supply of fuel may be essential, especially if you have electrical equipment necessary to the well being of your animals.
- Secure or remove anything that could become blowing debris; make a habit of securing trailers, propane tanks, and other large objects. If you have boats, feed troughs, or other large containers, fill them with water before any high wind event. This prevents them from blowing around and also gives you an additional supply of water.
- 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 materials and place them all in the same safe area. Provide local fire and rescue and emergency management authorities with information about the location of any hazardous materials on your property.
- 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, 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.