Louisiana’s coastal areas and the lives of those that live there were changed dramatically five years ago when the area was devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Experts at Louisiana State University’s School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM) say that horse owners should ready themselves in advance for evacuation and other recommended tasks related to hurricane preparedness.
The SVM advises that all horses should be up-to-date with vaccinations for tetanus and the encephalitis viruses (Eastern, Western, and West Nile), and that horse should have two forms of identification. They should have permanent identification such as a microchip, tattoo or brand, and a luggage-type tag secured to the tail and halter. Your name, address and phone numbers, including a contact out of state, should be written on the tags. The record for the microchip number should be stored in an accessible location, with a copy given to a family member of friend in a distance location.
During an emergency, parish emergency managers are in charge – so it’s important to know them and how to contact them in the event of a disaster. The SVM recommends that you should always plan to evacuate in the event of a storm, and have a destination and route pre-determined in advance. You should leave at least 72 hours before the arrival of the storm to avoid traffic delays. Remember to provide your neighbors with details of how to contact you at your new destination. Before leaving, take some time to clean up your property and remove items that could be hazardous if blown around. Lastly, for the journey to your new destination, you should have a waterproof emergency animal care kit prepared.