Preparing Your Farm Animals for Emergency
Taking care of farm animals requires a lot of work and is a big responsibility, however, and that responsibility can grow significantly if you are facing a natural disaster situation or other kind of emergency. In case of emergency, animals may need to be moved, and they may need to be moved quickly.
Planning for emergencies should include input and participation from family, friends, and neighbors. Any kind of network of mutual aid and support you can set up with people you know you can trust will be a big help if an emergency situation should arise. Copies of your plan should be drawn up and posted at different spots on your homestead for easy viewing, and copies should also be distributed to everyone who is a part of your network of mutual support.
Moving farm animals will take supplies and transportation, so you will need to have the former on hand and arrangements made for the latter. if you don't have transportation, you will need to have phone numbers close by so you can contact the people who will be renting or loaning you trailers and trucks at a moment’s notice.
It will also be necessary to make arrangements so that you have places to take your animals if they someday need to be evacuated. This could include locations like fairgrounds, racetracks, other farms, or neighbors’ pasture lands.
There are some basic items that could be critical to your efforts to keep your animals safe before, during, and after any emergency. Some of these important supplies include:
- An animal first aid kit
- ,Neckbands, and markers for making animal IDs
- A current list of all your animals plus their health records
- Large water containers
Extensive supplies of animal feed
- Flashlights and lanterns
In addition to halters, lead ropes, and other supplies that are needed to help move animals, it is also important to have things that can help you manage all of the complexities and moment-by-moment situations that may arise during an emergency.
There are certainly things that can be done to protect yourself and your animals against the potential danger and devastation of a natural disaster or other emergency. The areas around barns and other buildings that house animals should be free of surrounding trees, bushes, or other foliage that might burn in the case of wildfire. It would also not be a bad idea to create firebreaks a little farther out from the buildings. Overhanging branches should also be eliminated, and buildings with animals should always have clear, roomy pathways leading in and out. Extra feed supplies should be kept in waterproof containers, in elevated places well protected from the weather. Any time a building that holds animals is in need of any repairs, those repairs should be performed thoroughly and without delay.
Preparing Your Animals Means Preparing Yourself
While having a well-thought out plan to handle an emergency is important, being mentally prepared for the challenge of an emergency situation is even more vital. When disaster strikes and your world seems to be falling apart around you, being able to remain calm, cool, and collected is what will make the difference. If you have things planned in advance, then it will be much easier to act swiftly and decisively if that dreadful day finally comes.