Disaster Prep for Large Animals

Emergency Preparedness for Horses

  • Take multiple photographs of your horse from various angles, as well as photos of you with your horse. Prepare written descriptions of each horse and put these in a safe place such as a bank safe deposit box, away from where the horses are kept. This will help you to provide identification information to animal control personnel should your horses become lost or separated from you in an emergency.
  • Place an identification tag on the horse itself with the horse’s name, your name, address, phone number, and email. Cattle ear tags can be secured around the horse’s neck and the information written with an indelible ink pen, cattle/animal marketing crayon, or write the information on a piece of duct tape and place it on the halter.
  • Make sure that all your horse transporting equipment is well maintained and ready to be used on a moment’s notice and be sure your horses know how to load into a trailer/van.
  • Keep the area around your barns and corrals well cleared of brush and other combustible materials (at least 30 feet) and rake perimeter areas. Store gasoline, paints, solvents, hay, straw, shavings, scrap wood, and other flammable materials in an approved safety container away from occupied buildings.
  • Clean roof surfaces and gutters regularly.
  • Keep one hose (at least 100') with nozzle connected at a strategic location at all times.
  • Post "No Smoking" signs in and around the barn, and in vegetated areas as appropriate.
  • Make sure chainsaws and other equipment have approved spark arrestors.
  • Plan for an alternate exit on foot with your horses if roads are blocked by fire or debris.
  • If you must evacuate your horses from a burning barn, close the stall and/or barn doors after you exit. Panicking horses have been known to run back into their stalls if they get loose during a fire.
  • Take the time to make a plan for what to do in the event of an emergency. Discuss the plan with everyone on the farm or at the stables, so that everyone knows what to do. There will not be time to figure it out once the emergency starts. Post it in a clearly visible place. Have an annual meeting to discuss fire contingency plans.

Horse Evacuation Kit – Suggested Items

Keep these items together in an easily accessible place. Equip a plastic trash barrel (with lid) with the items below and make sure you are able to lift it. Do not let the tools and supplies be used for any other purpose than emergencies. Mark them with red paint if necessary. Make sure everyone who lives, works, or boards at your barn or stable knows where the kit is located.

  • 50 foot cotton rope
  • Battery-powered radio
  • Cattle/animal marketing crayon
  • Duct Tape
  • Equine first aid kit
  • Equine medications and instructions
  • Feed and feed instruction for each horse
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Flashlight with batteries
  • Halter and lead rope for each horse (try to avoid synthetic (nylon or plastic) halters or lead ropes. These may melt and cause serious burns to your horse and its handler. Leather halters and cotton lead ropes, while generally not as strong as nylon will be safer).
  • ID tags on halters and ropes
  • Identification papers for each horse
  • Ladder long enough to reach the barn roof in case of a roof fire
  • Leather gloves
  • Minimum of 100 feet of pre-connected garden hose (of adequate length to reach your structures) with a spray nozzle
  • Photos of each horse and photos of you with each horse if possible
  • Rake for clearing vegetation
  • Sheets or blankets
  • Shovel for clearing vegetation and throwing dirt
  • Water
  • Water Bucket
  • Wraps