Emergency Planning for Farm Animals

Don’t wait until the last minute to start evacuating.

  • The more animals you have, and the larger they are, the more you need to be ready to evacuate them at the first sign of danger. If you wait too long, you may not be able to move the animals or you may run out of time and be forced to leave them behind.
  • Do not leave animals behind when you evacuate, even if you are not sure where to take them.
  • Once you evacuate, it is unlikely you will be allowed to return to your home to retrieve any animals left behind. When you get your animals to a safe area there are bound to be individuals or animal organizations there to help you care for your animals.
  • Have a safe and secure way to transport your animals when evacuating them.
  • When evacuating animals, remember that they will be frightened. Given a chance, they will try to get away and find a place where they feel safe. Keeping animals securely confined will minimize the chance of you losing your animals.
  • What if you were not at home when a disaster struck and your animals were alone?
  • It’s a horrible thought, but it could happen, so you need to have a plan. The first place to start is to talk with neighbors that you know and trust. If they also have animals, discuss what you could do to help each another.

Points you should discuss with a backup person:

  • What time of the day are you most often gone?
  • What days of the week are you most often gone?
  • List all your animals, including their names and any behavioral problems they may have.
  • Have your backup person spend time with your animals so they are comfortable with each another.
  • Make each other aware of where such things as transport cages, gloves, leashes, halters and lead ropes are kept.
  • Exchange phone numbers including: work, cell phone, pager and an emergency contact person outside your area where messages can be left.
  • Exchange keys or any security codes (remember to only do this with people you trust).
  • Establish a meeting point outside of a likely evacuation area.
  • Discuss what should be done if animals cannot be evacuated – the most likely alternative being to turn them loose.

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