Floods can impact animal health as well as human health. Make plans for your livestock and horses in the event you will need to evacuate your farm.
Before a Floods
- Maintain an inventory.
□ Keep a current list of all animals on your farm.
□ Include their location and any records of vaccinations, testing and ownership.
- Have identification for all animals.
□ Make sure animals have some form of permanent identification (e.g., ear tags, tattoos).
□ Ensure animals are properly vaccinated before exposure to floodwaters.
- Prepare an evacuation kit.
□ Handling equipment (e.g., halters, nose leads)
□ Water, feed, and buckets
□ Tools and supplies needed for manure cleanup
□ Safety and emergency items for your vehicles and trailers
□ Gas powered generators • Make evacuation arrangements.
□ Determine possible evacuation areas – higher elevation, alternate production facilities (e.g., temporary milking parlors).
□ Determine several routes to these locations.
□ Identify alternate water or power sources.
□ Locate and prearrange feed and water delivery, needed equipment (e.g., milking) and services (e.g., milk pickup). □ Have well maintained backup generators for livestock production operations.
□ Make transport arrangements (e.g., trucks, trailers) with experienced handlers and drivers.
□ Condition animals to being loaded and transported.
- Ensure a safe environment.
□ Assess the stability and safety of barns and other structures.
□ Remove dead trees or objects from fields or livestock areas that may serve as potential debris during a flood situation. During a Flood • Be aware animal behavior may change before, during and even after a disaster.
□ If you must evacuate, ensure your family’s safety first
□ If there is time – move or evacuate livestock and horses to higher ground.
- AVOID leaving animals behind.
□ If there is no other alternative, keep gates or buildings open so they can escape high water.
□ Provide access to safe free-choice food source, clean water and the safest living areas possible.
□ Do not rely on automatic watering systems, because power may be lost.
□ Establish escape routes to safe locations (higher elevation).
□ Place your contact number and the name and number of your veterinarian on the building. After a Flood
- Assess your animals and building structures.
□ Survey damage to your barns and other structures; assess the stability and safety.
□ Examine your animals closely; contact your veterinarian if you observe injuries or signs of illness.
- Return animals only after the threat has passed and the safety of buildings or the area has been assessed
. □ Release animals in a safe and enclosed area until familiarity of the surroundings can occur.
- Provide non-contaminated feed or water.
□ Provide clean, uncontaminated water.
□ Do not feed flood damaged or moldy feed or hay
. □ Do not use any feed or forage that may have been contaminated by chemical or pesticides.
- Animal disposal.
□ Record any animal deaths.
□ Check with your state or local authorities for proper disposal methods for animal carcasses.
- Prevent illness
. □ Keep animals away from flood waters which may contain harmful bacteria or chemicals.
□ Monitor animals daily for signs of illness
. Development of this educational material was by the Center for Food Security and Public Health with funding from the Multi-State Partnership for Security in Agriculture MOU-2010-HSEMD-004. June 2010.