Hurricane Season is Approaching…Are You Prepared?
 
The 2006 forecast calls for Seventeen named tropical storms; an average season has 9.6; nine hurricanes, compared to the average 5.9, and five major hurricanes with winds exceeding 110 mph, an average season has 2.3 major hurricanes.

Although these statistical predictions cannot indicate when any of the storms will form or what direction they will travel, the forecasting team at Colorado State University calculate an 81 percent chance that at least one major hurricane will hit the U.S. coast in 2006.

Now is the time to plan your course of action if you are faced with evacuating your animals and your family…or if you plan to weather the storm at home.

When a storm is approaching there is never enough time to do all you need to do and most people don’t evacuate until the last minute or wait until a mandatory evacuation is issued.  Pre-plan 1-2 evacuation routes, and check emergency stabling facilities in advance. Call stables in various directions and check to see if there are fees, hotels nearby, space to park your trailer, or possibly RV parking.  Some facilities also have space for dogs, cats, cattle and other livestock. Texans can find a list of emergency stabling facilities at www.horsegazette.com/emergency.htm.   
Make sure you have evacuation supplies in your trailer at all times.  This could include a fire extinguisher, water bucket, halter, lead rope, equine first aid kit, 50 ft. cotton rope, flashlight & batteries, cattle/animal marking crayon, clear copy of identification papers, roll of duct tape, a basic tool kit and change of clothing for you.

Your equine first aid kit should contain a knife, adhesive tape, scissors, clean towels or rags, antiseptic, leg wraps, topical antibiotic, pain relievers, tranquilizers, insect repellent, sterile gauze pads, roll of cotton, alcohol wipes, Vetrap Bandaging Tape, handled cotton tipped swabs, non-sterile gauze pads, hand sanitizing towelettes, eye wash, betadine surgical scrub, hydrogen peroxide, iodine wipes, exam gloves, hoof pick, blood stop powder. This is only a sample list of medical supplies; you may require or prefer different items in your medical kit.  A good source for equine first aid kits is www.equimedic.com.

Also keep pictures of your horse, and at least one with you or with a family member with the horse – verification of proof of ownership.  Staple a copy of your Coggins to the picture along with a description of your horse such as special scars, tattoos, brands, microchip ID info and identification.  Place all of this in a zip-lock bag and keep them in a safe place where you can get them in a hurry.

Floridians have years of experience preparing and surviving hurricanes. You can find great information about preparing your horses and barn before a hurricane at www.floridahorse.com/hurricane/hurricane.html.


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