What To Do For Your Horse During a Hurricane
We are smack in the middle of hurricane season, and if you live in a hurricane-prone area, it’s time to get prepared. In typical 2020 fashion, this year’s hurricane season is predicted to be a whopper. NOAA forecasts that we will see up to 6 category 3, 4, or 5 storms by November 30th this year.
What You Can Do To Prepare Your Horse for a Hurricane
Schedule your fall wellness exam with your veterinarian (use our map to find a vet near you).
During the exam, make sure:
Your horse is up to date on all recommended vaccinations
You have a supply of at least 60 days of all required medications
Your horse is microchipped (this is the best fail-safe identification because it’s under the skin)
You have a current health certificate and negative Coggins test for each of your horses (scan this so that you have electronic copies to send in an emergency)
Many barns accepting evacuees require vaccine records, an up-to-date health certificate, and a negative Coggins test before you arrive at their stable. You can send them an email copy and then put paper copies in a Ziploc bag and leave them in your trailer now so you aren’t scrambling to find them as you prepare to leave.
GoHorse wants to make your evacuation as stress-free as possible. Use our map to find emergency boarding for your horses that is out of the hurricane's path. Call as early as possible to let them know you are coming to make sure they have room.
Prepare to Shelter in Place
Sometimes the storm's path changes quickly, or roads close and you don’t have time to get your horses out. Never try to move your horses in high winds; it’s extremely dangerous. There is a lot you can do to keep them safe at home.
If your pasture is free from overhanging power lines, trees, and barbed wire or electric fencing, your horses are probably safest outside. Make sure they have room to get away from debris that blows into the pasture. Concrete or pole-barns can withstand quite a bit of wind. Your insurance agent may be able to tell you what wind strength your barn is rated to withstand. If your pasture isn’t suitable to leave the horses out, they may be safer inside your barn. Just be aware that they may get trapped if the building collapses.
Make sure you have at least 7 days of food and water on hand and stored in a place that will remain dry if a hurricane hits. This way you'll be okay if you can’t get into town or you don’t have electricity for a while. If you have a generator, fire it up to make sure it’s in good working order and get extra fuel so you can run it for a week without having to go to the gas station.
After the Hurricane
Once you make sure your horses are okay, check your fencing for damage and clear any debris from your pasture. Watch out for downed power lines and other hazards. Remember, electricity is conducted through water so don’t ever try to clear live electrical wires by yourself. Remove your horses from the area if you can get to them safely and call your local utility company right away.
Whether you need help or have space to house displaced horses, please join the GoHorse Emergency Assistance Network on Facebook and add your farm to our map. We’re here for you. Let us know how we can help!