Disaster Planning for Livestock

Before the Storm

  • Become familiar with the type of disasters that occur in your region. Think about both natural and man-made disasters.
  • Have a written plan. During stressful times, it is easy to forget or omit something important. Compile a list of emergency numbers including veterinarian, neighbors, poison control, local animal shelters, and county extension offices to keep with your disaster plan.
  • Identify the animals with visible and durable identification.
  • Poultry should have access to high perches in flood-prone areas.
  • Consider whether evacuation is an option. If you choose to evacuate, do so 72 hours before the storm is due to hit, or you could be caught in traffic and high winds. Traffic moves very slowly if at all and high winds will make the livestock trailer unstable. Familiarize yourself with evacuation routes and secondary routes.
  • If you opt to shelter in place, select an area free of overhead power lines. A minimum of one acre is recommended to assist livestock in avoiding blowing debris. Barbed wire fencing can present a serious issue if damaged and animals become entangled in it.
  • Remember that power may be out, so don’t count on automatic pumps working. Identify any potential alternate water source.
  • Have enough food, water and medications to last two weeks.

After the Storm

  • Make sure the storm is over before you venture out.
  • Use caution after the storm. Beware of downed power lines.
  • Check pastures for debris that may injure your livestock.
  • Ensure fences are intact and secure.
  • Wildlife will also be impacted by the storm and may end up where least expected. Use caution.

See our suggested list of supplies to keep on hand as your Emergency Disaster Kit.