The following information is intended to start the thought and planning process, there may be things specific to your situation, location or circumstance that require other measures. This is for informational purposes only. . This information is specific to our county and area of Golden Gate Estates, which is Naples, FL the SW portion of Florida, but can be applied anywhere, taking into account your own local situation.
Donation for CONVID-19 impact
Volunteer hours are down, donations are down, adoptions are down, educational programs are closed= please help support the horses here!
HAVE A PLAN- WHERE WILL YOU GO, HOW TO GET THERE, WHAT YOU NEED
Establish local and out of area, out of state evacuation sites
1. Establish Phone Tree- have at least 3 people on your phone tree that can offer assistance w a trailer ride or a place to evacuate your horses. Take into account your location– have people in different areas set up as fires, flooding, or downed trees/power lines can make areas inaccessible. Be prepared if phone lines and towers are out, that you have their physical addresses too. During hurricane Irma the only way to get the vet or the hay supplier was to drive to their house and leave a note!
2. Horse Identification-
Paperwork: Collier County requires proof of a negative Coggins test as well as Rabies shots. Have your paperwork current and with you. You can even laminate the Coggins to protect it during storms. This is a way to identify your horse and your ownership. You also need a current Coggins to legally transport your horse. Boarding facilities may also require horses have certain vaccines, check your local facilities to see what is required for them to accept your horse. f you have recently acquired a horse, have a copy of your bill of sale in your paperwork. Current close up photos of your horse can help too, especially to post on social media should your horse get loose
Physically mark your horse:
-ID cards for your breakaway halter
-ID bands that go on neck, or coronet
-Grease pencils can be used to write your number on your horses side ( as can spray paint but that washes off easier) or on the horses hooves
-main and/or tail braids
3. Evacuation Kit
– Paperwork mentioned above
-Feed/hay for at least 5 days
-Any medications needed
-First Aid Kit
-Vet and/or Emergency Vet number
PREPARE YOUR PROPERTY
Here are some things you can do to prepare
-Keep fencing in good condition
-In case of hurricane, put away as much as you can that will be picked up by the wind and store in a secure location. Flying objects can seriously injure your horse.
-Dead or dying trees should be removed, branches trimmed, they can come down and injure a horse, damage a fence or in the case of fire, add to the problem. Down trees can also block access to trailers and vet vehicles that may need to access your property.
-Water – if you are out here on well water be aware that if you loose power you will loose access to water – portable generators or a simple hand pump added to your well will ensure that you have clean fresh water. Remember in the summer here water goes bad quickly, access to FRESH water is necessary.
When is the last time you hooked up? Checked your brakes, floorboards? Had your ball bearings repacked? How about your tires checked or replaced? Chains, sway bar, locks and clips, door closures, any thing at all on your trailer that needs checking, please check!
Whether you use your trailer a lot or not at all, you want to have it in its best shape for an emergency. Not only will you be trying move quickly, stores and mechanics might be shut down. Develop a regular schedule w your trailer and stick to it, so that in a pinch you are ready to go safely!
LETTING YOUR HORSE GO
Here it is common to hear people talk of letting their horses “go” in case of a major hurricane coming in, with the thought that the horses are safer out of the barn, where they may be trapped. Ability to be in a large area can be beneficial without a hurricane proof barn, but they also can be punctured by flying objects, stepping on all sorts of things (boards with nails and are at risk of running out onto a street. Your best plan of attack if you feel your barn is not a safe structure is to have a large pasture, free of debris, with a solid fence. Remember that hurricanes often spawn tornadoes As always, make the best decision for your horse and your situation. In fire conditions, Never leave horses trapped in a barn. Ever.
LOST AND FOUND HORSES
– Call Sheriff’s AG Unit 239-252-9300 (if your horse is missing, call AG unit first!
– Domestic Animal Services 239-252-7387
-Golden Gate Estates Barn Owners FB page
-Lost Pets of Collier County FB Page
-Microchip company if chip is found
What about a horsey you find loose? Think about – if you find a horse, it may be sick or have parasites, keep it at least 30 feet away from your horses. Individual turn out where horses can’t be touching is best. If you use your halter and lead line to catch an unknown horse, sanitize it before using it on your horse. Same for feed and water buckets. There is more to this topic, but use general guidelines to keep your horses safe while providing refuge to another
With hurricanes feed and hay supplies can be destroyed, both at your home, boarding facility and local stores. Supply chains can be disrupted throughout the state . You may consider storing feed and hay cubes inside your home or garage. Hay cubes are a substitute for hay, a complete forage. Hay pellets are not, and do not meet the horses need for fiber. Cubes are an easy way to stockpile for an emergency. In any evacuation situation, as horses are moved, people are often needing to buy more hay and feed as theirs has been left behind or destroyed, so local feed stores may run out of supplies. Its a good idea to have extra food even if you are not in the evacuation area. the same with vet supplies and medications, your vet is going to be busy and may run out of supplies, keep a supply medication that you might need.
COVID-19 AND HORSE EVACUATION
This is a whole new ballgame, but if there is an emergency, you might be forced to stay more local or not be able to evacuate. Many barns and hotels are closed. Use this time to cut down old trees, improve fencing, have options that help you ride out the event in place as best you can. As this unfolds, we will update our blog!