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Disaster Preparedness for Equine & Large Animal Owners

Disaster Preparedness for Equine & Large Animal Owners

Severe weather, earthquakes, wildfires, hazardous material spills, barn fires—a man-made or natural disaster can strike anytime, anywhere. Put a preparedness plan in place now to keep you and your animals safe. Remember, they depend on you for their safety.

Prevent barn fires

Barn fires are one of the most common emergency situations faced by equine and livestock owners. Prevention is key: store vehicles, tractors, and flammable materials outside; regularly inspect electrical wires for damage; and make sure hay is dry before storing it in the barn. In case of a barn fire, immediately call 911.

Prepare for evacuation

It may not always be possible to evacuate horses or livestock, but having a plan in place for a potential evacuation is a good idea. Keep halters and leads ready. Have a trailering and transportation plan in place.


Be ready to shelter in place

Prepare a portable first aid kit, as well as several days' supply of water, hay, feed and medications. You may also want to consider alternative methods of getting water for your animals, as water supplies can become contaminated.


Make sure your animals have ID

Severe weather can lead to fencing failures, allowing animals to leave your property. ID will be key to help ensure their return.

Provide safe, high spots

Perches, ledges and access to high ground can be a lifesaver for poultry, livestock and other animals in an emergency.

Emergency kit checklist

  • Food, water and medication for at least 72 hours—two weeks is recommended
  • Copy of medical records, including proof of vaccinations
  • Authorization for medical treatment in your absence
  • Proof of ownership
  • Ensure animals have ID such as microchip, tattoo, halter tag, collar, leg band, ear tag or notch, brand
  • Important contact information—veterinarian, emergency contact, boarding facility, alternate shelter
  • Feed
  • Water—consider alternative ways to get water, as supplies may be contaminated
  • Medications and supplements—rotate frequently
  • Halters and leads
  • Blankets
  • Flashlights, radio, batteries
  • Duct tape
  • Heavy gloves
  • Knife—sharp, all-purpose
  • Wire cutters
  • Fly spray
  • Hoof care tools
  • Shovel
  • Trash bags, paper towels, buckets
  • First aid supplies—consult with your veterinarian about what supplies are most appropriate for you to have for your animals

Updated: September 15, 2020