With the Hurricane Sally hitting the east coast, and the Winter storms hitting other parts of America, we would like to take a moment to give some tips and tricks to take care of our four-legged teammates durring these times!!
Before the storm:
- Create a list of emergency contacts, a hard copy incase your power goes out and you cannot access your cell phone. This should include, several vets, the local ASPCA, your barn manager, an emergency contact, farrier, hauler, and other contacts.
- stock up on feed, and make sure to store it in an area that will stay dry and safe durring heavy winds and rain. Hay prices usually go up in the winter, so stocking up before then is always a good idea! If you can elevate it, do so. Try to keep it as high as possible to avoid losing some to flooding.
- Make sure to have extra buckets for water! Sometimes the water quality becomes undrinkable for horses and humans alike! Keep extra large buckets for water. Do not fully rely on your automatic waterer.
- Create a plan incase you need to evacuate. Think of local barns that act as shelters for storms, and create a backup, incase those stables become overcrowded!
- Keep your horses papers in a safe and handy place! If they get out, be able to have a form of identification on hand ASAP! (Tattoo numbers, micro chip numbers, marking identifications, branding)
- Create a first-aid kit, not only for the horse, but you as well!! Sometimes it can take weeks for emergency responses to get to your house. Be able to help with non emergency issues right away! Keep some vet-wrap, peroxide, alcohol (rubbing, but when there is a hurricane there is usually some Taquilla Ocho on hand too!), gauze, bag balm, and other items used for first response! Do not freak out if your horse gets a cut durring the storm, know how to handle it in a calm and quick way!
Durring the storm:
- You will get conflicting opinions on keeping your horses out doors, or in a stall. This is up to you where you would like to keep them, but make sure that it is safe, and free of debris anywhere near the area your horse will be staying. If they are staying outdoors, make sure your shelter is sturdy and can withstand heavy rains and winds!
- Use those extra buckets and fill them with as much water as possible! This will allow for your horse to have water and stay hydrated even if the auto waterers break or turn off.
- Fill clean plastic garbage cans with water, secure the tops, and place them in the barn for use after the storm.
- Have extra fencing on hand with tools to fix in a jiffy! Remember that even if your horse is not a kicker or chewer, the winds can take down posts. Be ready and understand that your horse is probably scared and worried, so fix the fences as soon as it is safe for you to go outside!
- Keep a windup radio near you or inside a secured tackroom, this way you can hear the news without wasting batteries.
- Keep extra flashlights (NOT CANDLES) in the barn! If the power goes out while you are there, you can find shelter in the dark.
- Be safe, do not risk your life for your horses! They are smart creatures and can use instinct to survive. If your horse gets out, call the local ASPCA and authorities to keep an eye out! Do not go out in the middle of the storm to look for them!
- If you believe it is safe for your horse, put on a breakaway halter. If they get out, this will make it easy to catch them, and show authorities that your horse is tame and has an owner. Make sure to use a break-away incase they get snagged on a tree or fence post.
After the Storm:
- Fix the damage that has been caused as soon as possible, and make sure that your horse has food and water. Check them for any injuries and contact your vet for any advice on injuries caused. If a vet is needed, do not panic if he/she states that she will be longer than usual. They are tending to all of the local horses in the area and are forced to prioritize. Do not lash out on them!
- Contact any Barn Manager or your insurance company for any structural damage, and move your horse if their stall/pasture is unlivable.
- Contact your neighbors if your barn is safe. Make sure that they are all okay, and offer your place or barn (with BO’s permission) for temporary shelter if they need it.