Hurricane season has arrived and officially runs from June 1 through November 30. The hurricane season of 2017 should have been a “wake up” call that we need to be prepared and the best time to do that is now.
There is plenty of information out there for preparing your homes, property, and human family members. Make sure to have at least 72 hours or food and water available, have a communication plan, know shelter locations, have extra fuel containers for generators and vehicles, have a travel bag ready, and have a radio that will allow you to hear any news and emergency alerts.
While you prepare don’t overlook your horses, pigs, cows, goats, chickens, ducks, dogs, cats, etc.
You need to have a plan for where they are going to stay during a hurricane. If their current shelter will protect them or if you need to make arrangements to move them to another facility.
You will also need at least a two weeks supply of food and water for each animal. Animals can’t talk so if they get lost, they need identification so they can be reunited with you. Permanent identification such as a microchip or other forms such as a collar, luggage tags braided into manes or tails, or body paint with contact information is critical.
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is a big help with regard to providing a lot of great information on a website page dedicated to animal-related emergency response. You can find it at freshfromflorida.com/Business-Services/Animals/Animal-Related-Emergency-Response.
The website has a subsection focusing on animal sheltering (emergency evacuation shelters for horses, pet-friendly lodging by Florida city, and pet-friendly hotels), and links to files you can download and read about disaster preparedness for horses, livestock, and pets.
Additional disaster preparedness information for pet owners is available from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the American Veterinary Medical Association.
This Column is sponsored by Polk Equine.