Equine Emergency Planner
What to do in case you and your horse have an emergency.
September 2, 2010
From the Louisiana Tech University Equestrian Club
Do you know what to do if you and your horse have an emergency or are in a disaster? Follow these tips from the Louisiana Tech University Equestrian Club:
Tips for Evacuating
- Install locks on all doors and secure the facility.
- Let neighbors know where you are going and leave contact information with them.
- Determine evacuation routes ahead of time.
- Leave as soon as possible to avoid traffic and bad weather (especially if you will be pulling a trailer).
- Turn off the main electric breaker and water.
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If You’re not Evacuating
- Do not lock horses in stalls or in the barn. They could be trapped if the building were to flood, have something fall on it or collapse.
- Have enough food and hay for five to seven days. Store the food in sealed containers or plastic bags and place them as high off the ground as possible.
- Have enough water for five to seven days. Use large garbage cans to fill with water and cover with a lid. Do not rely on automatic waterers.
- Have a chain saw, fuel, hammers, saw, nails, screws and fencing materials to make repairs.
- Do not stay in the barn with your horse during the storm.
- After the storm, examine your property for fallen or sharp objects and other dangerous materials, contaminated water, downed power lines, water and gas leaks, and dangerous wildlife.
- Examine horses for injuries and signs of illness.
Mark Your Horse for Identification in an Emergency
- Microchip before the emergency and have a copy of the number with you
- Braid a luggage tag (with contact information) into the mane or tail
- Use waterproof paint, such as spray paint or livestock marking crayon, to put your phone number on the horse in big numbers or paint a symbol or brand that has a meaning and is unique to you and your farm/horses
- Clip or shave information into an animal’s hair
- Use a permanent marker to write on hooves
- Have a halter for your horse that has a name plate with your name and phone number on it, or duct tape a tag with your information on it protected by a Ziploc bag
- Neck collars
- Leg bands
- A visible brand
- Lip tattoos
- Keep a detailed record of your horses’ physical appearance and personality
- If registered with a breed registry, have copies of those records and the DNA information
Never attach Coggins or registration papers to your horse. Not everyone is honest, and having these papers is a ticket to get out of the state with your horse!
Insurance can be a blessing after a disaster. It is a good idea to have insurance on your trailer, barn and even on your horses. Check with your main insurance provider to see if he or she can cover these other needs. Be sure to check your policy to see if it covers damage caused by natural disasters, such as flooding and wind damage. Also be sure to check what it will cover for your horse, such as if your horse would need surgery.
Learn how you can keep your horse safe from one of the most devastating horse diseases: Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis (EPM). Download our FREE EPM report and find out how you can help prevent this disease.
Risk and Concerns During Disasters
Animal behavior can change drastically during emergency situations due to stress. Usually friendly and calm animals can become difficult to handle. Monitor animals in safe and secure enclosures to watch for signs of distress and changes in behavior.
- Changes in diet cause horses to be prone to colic, laminitis and other diseases. Follow each horse's feeding instructions closely, and if a change must be made, do it gradually.
- Isolate sick and new horses to prevent the spread of diseases, and follow other sanitary recommendations.
- Do not leave horses where they can become trapped, such as in a stall. Keep horses on high ground and be aware that if flooding occurs, they may not be able to see fences and may be caught in them.
- Keep horses out of flood water if possible and rinse them thoroughly to prevent skin infections from harmful substances that may be in the water.
- Give horses clean water to drink. Flood water can contain dangerous chemicals and pesticides.
- Remove dangerous debris from pastures. Keep humans and animals out of barns that have been flooded, as they may be unstable.
Download the full PDF version of Equine Emergency Planner and get more tips on how to keep your horse safe during an emergency or disaster.