With the hurricane season upon us, it is important that horse owners ready themselves in advance for evacuation and other recommended tasks related to hurricane preparedness.
Have a disaster plan in place for your family, including your animals, and review and update it yearly. Be sure your horse is current regarding vaccinations for tetanus and the encephalitis viruses (rabies, Eastern, Western, and West Nile). Store the record for the microchip number (typically the Coggins form) in an accessible location.
Prepare a waterproof emergency animal care kit with all the items you normally use, including medications, salves or ointments, Vetrap, bandages, tape, etc.
If you plan to evacuate in the event of a storm, have a destination and route(s) mapped out well in advance. Locate any large animal shelters in your state well in advance of an emergency; January to March would be good months to prepare this plan. Have at least a two- to three-week supply of hay (wrapped in plastic or a waterproof tarp) and feed (stored in plastic water-tight containers). Fill clean plastic garbage cans with water, secure the tops, and place them in the barn for use after the storm. Have an emergency barn kit containing a chain saw and fuel, hammer(s), saw, nails, screws, and fencing materials. Be sure to have an ample supply of flashlights and batteries and other non-perishable items.
Start early to clean up your property and remove all debris that might have been tossed around by storm and hurricane force winds.
Visit the Louisiana State Animal Response Team website for more detailed information regarding horse hurricane preparations and other emergency and health-related information. Researchers found that many horses recovering from colic surgery probably don't require as much water as once thought. Seek the advice of a qualified veterinarian before proceeding with any diagnosis, treatment, or therapy. History teaches that a lack of hurricane awareness and preparation are common threads among all major hurricane disasters. The most important precaution you can take when preparing your home for a hurricane, is to protect the exterior of the house in areas where wind can enter.

ROOF: If your roof is gabled, the ends of your house is what will take the biggest hit in a windstorm. If your roof if shingled, you can increase wind resistance by using a quick-setting asphalt cement to reinforce, or bond the shingles together. There is also the option of temporary shutters, which you can remove during non-hurricane season months; just be sure they are correctly and securely fastened. DOORS: If your doors are solid wood or metal, they can probably withstand the wind pressures and debris.
GARAGE DOORS: Double-wide garage doors are more susceptible to damage than single car garage doors are because of their width. The above information is taken from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Institute for Business & Home Safety websites.
Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know where to meet, how to contact each other and what to do in case of an emergency. Make sure your pets are current on their vaccinations; pet shelters usually require proof of vaccines.
As always, if you have any questions about your coverage or about storm preparedness, please feel free to give us a call.
The Louisiana State Animal Response Team (LSART) and the Equine Health Studies Program at the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine released some tips for horse owners in hurricane-prone areas on June 2.
Fetlock tags are useful and can be acquired on-line or from a local farm supply store or you can use a paint stick or non-toxic spray paint.
The worst thing that can happen to you is to get stuck in traffic with a trailer full of horses and a hurricane approaching. Use common sense, taking into consideration barn structure, trees, power lines, condition of surrounding properties, and the likelihood of the property and structure to flood.
Place these supplies in the highest (out of reach of flood waters) and driest area possible. Place this kit in a secure area before the storm hits so that it is easily accessible after the storm.
By knowing your vulnerability and what actions you should take, you can reduce the effects of a hurricane disaster. You can secure these walls by ensuring that the trusses are properly nailed to the top of the wall and adjacent trusses.

To do this, place two spots of the asphalt cement (about the size of a quarter) under each shingle tab with a putty knife or caulking gun and press the tab to the adhesive.
Many homeowners opt for the less-expensive plywood, which will work fine as long as installed properly. Just to be sure, take the following precautions: install extra head and foot bolts on double-entry doors, make sure all doors have at least three hinges and a dead bolt and check connections on double-entry doors.
To secure the door you can reinforce it by installing horizontal or vertical bracing onto each panel, using wood or light gauge metal bolted to the door mullions.
Be sure to place your name, address, and phone number (a phone number for someone out of state is best in the event of local phone outages) legibly on the tags. Horses on farms subject to storm surge or flash flooding should be turned out so they don't become trapped or drown. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without written permission of The Horse Media Group LLC is prohibited.
Then, fasten eight-foot long braces to the bottom chord of the gable truss and the adjacent trusses; the braces should be perpendicular to the truss. Be careful not to bend the shingles too far back and replace any damaged shingles immediately.
These shutters not only protect the glass from wind-borne objects, they also reduce against damages caused by sudden pressure changes if a window or door is broken. You can also install heavier hinges and stronger end and vertical supports to lessen the risk of the wind forcing the door off it's roller track. For example, the safest place in your home during a windstorm will probably not be the safest place during a flood. If you have the money, impact-resistant windows are also available, which look the same as normal windows but have the capability to withstand large wind-borne debris. Call around to find local pet shelters, friends houses or hotels that accept animals during disaster. Stock non-perishable food items and have a Disaster Supply Kit Use a NOAA weather radio, for up-to-date coverage on the storms.

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