June 3, 2019

by Jennifer Bearden

Hurricane season is officially here. Here are a few helpful tips to prepare a livestock operation for a tropical storm or hurricane.

Livestock are safer in a large pasture free of debris. Barns can easily fail during a storm, leaving the animals injured, trapped or dead. Perimeter fences should be sturdy, preferably woven wire and not electric in case of power outages.

Livestock should have enough room to escape fallen power lines, trees and debris. If livestock are confined to an area smaller than five acres, consider evacuating the animals. Check with the local extension agent for nearby livestock shelters.

If evacuating is a possibility, plan the route carefully and completely. Also, pack an evacuation kit containing necessary health papers, handling supplies and first aid items. Remember to plan early and leave early. It will take longer to evacuate with livestock.

Have plenty of supplies such as hay, feed and water stored in a safe place if riding out the storm. Depending on the severity of the storm, it can be difficult to transport feed and hay to the disaster area. Planning ahead always helps during and after a storm. Make sure you have a first aid kit for your livestock and your family.

For more information about preparing for a hurricane with livestock or for livestock shelters in your area, contact your local extension agent.

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