for Horse Evacuation
by Eleanor Blazer
See the Story - "Fire!
Prepare to Evacuate"
It's not good to take the "it will never happen to me"
attitude when preparing for an emergency. A few simple steps will
make an evacuation run smooth.
1. Train your horses to load. Trying to load an untrained horse
when stress is high can be dangerous and time consuming.
2. Be able to identify your horses. Take pictures or videos and
have written descriptions. Store one set in a safe place (a safe
deposit box at a bank is one option) and keep another set with
3. If your horse is going to a community rescue site or there
is a chance he will become loose have some type of identification
on the horse. An identification tag on the halter will work, but
microchips, brands or tattoos are more permanent. Be sure your
emergency contact information is included on the ID tag.
4. Make sure your truck and trailer are in good working order
and packed with needed supplies. Do not use your trailer as a
storage unit. If you do not own a trailer, make advance arrangements
with several friends or a local hauler who can be contacted at
a moment's notice. Don't wait until the emergency to start looking
for a way to move your horses.
5. Make sure all health records and registrations papers are in
one location and can be moved quickly.
6. Make advance arrangements with several friends who have room
for your horses. If this is not possible contact your local fairgrounds
or horse facilities to find out their policies for accepting horses
during an emergency - have several options available.
7. Know the various routes to the facility to which you are taking
the horses. A road may be closed, so have an alternate route in
8. Assign duties, in advance, to the various people who will be
helping evacuate the horses. If people know what is expected,
things will go smoothly.
9. Leave your contact information in several conspicuous places
in your barn, office or house.
10. In the event you are not at home, make arrangements with several
friends or neighbors so they can evacuate your horses. Go over
your plans and have the information available to them. Keep it
11. Pack enough hay, feed, medications, supplements and water
(if needed) for several days. Extra buckets should be already
packed in the trailer.
12. If you are going to have to make several trips, don't wait
until the last evacuate order is issued. Start moving animals
out early and give yourself enough time. It is possible if you
wait too long, you will not be allowed back in. Use common sense.
13. Don't forget to have an emergency bag packed and ready with
your personal items.
14. Prepare a list of important documents you will need and have
them readily available. These items would include credit cards,
bank account information, health insurance cards and check books.
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