As we watch Tropical Depression Harvey churn in the Gulf, questions remain about how much it could strengthen and where it will make landfall. But no matter where Harvey comes ashore, large areas inland can expect a multi-day rain event with the possibility for local flooding. Take action now to prepare.
From the Texas Animal Health Commission webpage on emergencies:
Hurricanes and Tropical Storms: How You Can Prepare
Hurricanes bring violent winds and rain, which causes flooding and the potential to cause catastrophic loss of life and property, financial, and environment damage to local communities. Animals may be displaced or need temporary sheltering and veterinary attention. Prepare now to protect your livestock and companion animals when disaster strikes.
Make a Plan
Plan in advance what you will do in an emergency. Be prepared to assess the situation and use common sense to best take care of yourself and ensure your animals’ safety during an emergency.
- Evacuate: Plan how you will assemble your pets and livestock. If you must evacuate, take your animals with you, if practical. Consider family or friends outside your immediate area who would be willing to take in your animals.
- Develop a buddy system: Plan with neighbors, friends or family to make sure that someone is available to care for or evacuate your animals if you are unable to do so.
- Talk to your veterinarian: Discuss the types of things you should include in your animal’s emergency first aid kit.
- Gather contact information for emergency animal treatment: Make a list of contact information and addresses of area animal control agencies and emergency veterinary hospitals. Keep one copy of these phone numbers with you and one in your animal’s emergency supply kit
Identify Your Animals
It is important to have identification for all of your livestock and companion animals to best reunite you with your animals.
- Livestock: Identification for cattle includes brands, earmarks/tagging, or other identifying markings. For equine, it may be a brand or identifying markings (EIA or “Coggins” papers are a great resource).
- Companion Animals: Identification for small animals include up-to-date tags securely fastened to your pet’s collar or microchips. A current photo of you and your pet can also be helpful when it comes to identification.
Put Together a Kit of Animal Emergency Supplies
Whether you must evacuate or you are allowed to stay in your home, it is important to have supplies to care for your livestock or companion animals for an extended amount of time.
- Livestock: Evacuating livestock may not be an option for you. However, you can prepare by putting together a kit in advance that will allow you to best care for your animals during and after a hurricane or tropical storm. Items include: medications, herd inventory, a list of animal identifiers, health certificates, food and water buckets, a trailer and portable paneling, first aid kit, and wire cutters. Watch: How to make a livestock disaster preparedness kit
- Companion Animals: In the event you evacuate or stay home for an extended period of time, it is important to have supplies on hand for your pets. Items to include: pet food, bottled water, medications, veterinary records, cat litter/pan, manual can opener, food/water bowls, leash, pet carrier, first aid kit and other supplies. Download Preparing Makes Sense for Pet Owners for a full list of items to include in your pet’s emergency to-go kit or Watch: How to make a small animal preparedness kit.
Some things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as assembling an emergency supply kit for yourself, your family and your animals, is the same regardless of the type of emergency. However, it’s important to stay informed about what might happen and know what types of emergencies are likely to affect your region. When it comes to hurricanes and tropical storms, you can keep up with the latest forecasts and news on the National Hurricane Center website or on your local news station.
Additional TAHC Information Resources:
Other Hurricane and Flood Preparation Information
National Hurricane Center “Be Ready” webpage
Ready.gov “Make A Plan” checklist
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Disaster Education Network Hurricane Information
- Pet & Animal Emergency Planning
- Evacuating Horses ( Video )
- Hurricane Preparedness for Livestock Owners ( Video 1 ) ( Video 2 )
- Sheltering Livestock in Place ( Video 1 ) ( Video 2 )
- Hurricane Preparedness for Livestock Producers (eBook)
- More resources related to Animal Issues