Large animals and livestock in disasters

Horses in a flooded area

There are unique considerations for horses and livestock during a disaster. Preparing ahead of time and acting quickly are the best ways to keep you and your animals out of danger. Protect your whole family and farm when emergencies arise with the proper supplies, veterinary information, animal identification and an evacuation plan that has been practiced.

Being prepared means:

  • Making a disaster plan for your family and animals
  • Preparing everything you need to execute that plan—such as putting together an evacuation kit and emergency contact list
  • Staying informed about local animal disaster plans

Preparing for disaster

Considerations when making your disaster plan:
  • Be prepared for the possible disruption of services for extended periods of time, including gas, electricity, phone (cellular and landlines), internet service, and local sources of food, water, and fuel.
    • Identify alternate sources of food and water.
    • Have well-maintained backup generators and a fuel source for use in farm animal production operations.
    • Keep vehicles well-maintained and full of gas.
    • Keep emergency cash on hand (ATMs may not work).
  • Assemble an animal evacuation kit.
  • Keep animal equipment where rescue personnel, neighbors, and friends can easily find it.
  • Consult with your veterinarian about appropriate identification for your animals.
  • Make copies of any proof of ownership, animal identification documentation, or photos for identification, and keep them with your evacuation kit.
  • Prepare emergency contact lists in advance.

Find all these tips and more in AVMA's Small Farm Preparedness brochure.

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See the full disaster preparedness guide for small farms: Small Farm Preparedness.

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