If you live in an area that’s prone to natural disasters, such as flood, fire, tornado or hurricane, have a plan in place for what to do should the call go out to evacuate. And remember to share it with family, friends and the caretakers of your horses.
The first step is to have all of your paper work in order. Collect your horse’s negative Coggins (get one annually!) his brand inspection, his passport, ownership papers and microchip card in one place and always keep it there. If necessary, purchase a fire-safe box for these items, or store them in a safe-deposit box at the bank with the rest of your important personal papers. Take pictures and videos of your horses to make them easy to identify. Store visual identification tools with your important papers.
You may need to prioritize which animals you’ll need to evacuate first-of course that’s a personal choice and a difficult one, but a choice that needs to be made before you need to move your horses.
Plan in advance where you will take your animals. There are often emergency facilities set up for evacuees, but a secondary location will be necessary in case the official location is at capacity by the time you get there.
Keep your horse trailer in working condition at all times. You won’t have time to change that flat tire or fix the door latch if you have to evacuate. Also, teach your horses to load quickly and easily.
In a worst-case scenario you may have to leave your horses behind. Leave halters on and lead ropes nearby. Get nameplates engraved with your name and cell phone number and attach them to the halters. If you have to leave your horses behind report their location to the local authorities.