Carter Veterinary Services is committed to preparing our clients for the challenges that arise from residing in a hurricane prone area. Every year, we get calls from concerned horse owners who need to make a quick escape. Our vets want to ensure you or your horse doesn't get left behind because of a failure to plan ahead. Remember, it can take 5 days to receive your coggins.
With proper planning and preparation, you can help save your horses lives. We continue this series with 5 more tips to be prepared in the face of a devastating storm:
6. Tack. All horses being evacuated should be shipped with their own lead ropes and halter. (Halters can carry disease so make certain that you use a clean halter that was not used on a sick animal.) Put the horse’s name on the halter and include your contact information. Do not saddle horses prior to shipping. Do not halter horses that are left out in the field (the halter can get tangled and caught in debris and cause serious injury or death).
7. Trailer. Before the hurricane season begins, as well as regularly during the season, inspect your trailer to make sure it is road worthy and safe to transport horses. Check the floor, tires, brakes and lights to make certain they are in working order. You should plan to evacuate your horses while the storm is at least 4 days away.
8. Truck. Inspect your truck to be certain it is ready to pull the trailer. Inspect the hitch to make sure it is secure and in proper working order. Make sure that you have a full tank of gas. DO NOT carry full gas cans in your horse trailer.
9. Emergency tool kit. Prepare an emergency tool kit to include a flash light, battery powered radio, bottled water, hammer, screwdriver and basic farrier tools. A larger emergency barn kit is recommended in the barn in the event you have horses stay on site during a storm (see #3 in the next section).
10. Supplies for your horses. According to the Colorado State University Extension (www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/ livestk/01817.html), your horse emergency evacuation checklist should include:
a. At least a week’s supply of hay, grain, and water for each horse
b. paperwork (health certificates, vaccination records, brand paperwork)