With storm season upon, horse owners must prepare their barns for intense weather – especially our friends to the south! Planning is key to keeping horses safe. It is ideal to plan with neighbors and other horse owners to identify resources in the area. If you are planning on evacuating your horses, leave early enough to avoid traffic delays. If you are planning on weathering the storm, follow these twelve tips below to prepare your barn for storms.
1. Make the choice to keep your horses in the barn or out in an open field. This decision is entirely up to you. Use common sense when deciding. You should take into consideration barn structure, trees, power lines and the condition of surrounding properties.
2. Remove all items for the aisles and wallsin your barnand store them in a safe place.
3. Have at least a two-week supply of hay and feed wrapped in plastic/ waterproof tarp or awatertight bin. Keep this in the highest and driest area possible.
4. Fill plastic water cans or barrels with water and store them in your barn.
5. Prepare an emergency animal care kit and store it in a waterproof case. Make sure you have medications, salves, ointments, vetwraps, bandages, tape, etc. Keep this in an area where you can get to after a storm.
6. Do not stay in the barn with your horse during the storm.
7. Turn off circuit breakers in the barn before leaving. A power surge could cause sparks and possibly a fire.
8. Have an ample supply of flashlights, batteries, and at least one battery operated radio.
9. If you are stalling your horse, leave hay and at least two buckets of water in your horses stall. If your horse is outside, make sure they have enough water and hay.
10. Prepare an emergency barn kitin a secure location with rope,handsaw/chain saw with fuel, nails, screws, screwdrivers, spray paint, and fencing materials.
11. Attach identification to each horse. This can be done by using fetlock identification tags or halter tags, clipping phone numbers on the horses’ bodies, spray paint, etc.
12. Compile records of each animal. Make sure you have pictures and permanent identification information on each horse such as a brand, microchip, scars, etc. Keep this in a secure location during the storm.
The best way to avoid chaos before, during, or after a storm is preparation.Be smart and be safe.
For more information on storm preparation, visit: