What Emergency Plans/measures do you have in place ?

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Ryan Johnson

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After Boarding and agisting my horses and minis for many years, I promised myself to create an Emergency plan before I brought them to the property we now have & own.

For those that know Australia, we are faced with some of the most horrendous weather conditions, especially during the summer months with fires.

What do you have in place if you were ever faced with one of mother natures most extreme weather conditions?

As we are not all faced with the same weather conditions, i think it would be great to post some of the things you have in place to protect your properties and animals from extreme weather conditions and emergencies if you were ever faced with one.

Being that "Fire" is one of the most frequent things we are faced with here, I decided that the first thing I would do is Buy an old Trailer and a square water tank that I have mounted to the trailer. The trailer is enclosed apart from the back. Next to the water tank is a petrol pump that pumps the water through a "fire hose".

At the beginning of the warmer months here, I fill the tank, have the pump serviced and test the trailer itself to ensure that "If" it is ever needed its "Right to go"

I keep the grass as low as I can and have just put in 3.5kms of irrigation around the house.

What about everyone Else , Do you have any plans or measures in place ? Would be great to hear what others have in place
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Rocklone Miniature Horses

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Sounds like a good plan! I live in ireland, the most non-weather place ever. Our most extreme weather is having a frost, sometimes a sprinkle of snow. We did have one bad snow once and i had frozen pipes and had to double rug the horses and put them out with a bale of hay at like 3AM cause they had no water and i took a hammer to the water trough and they drank it all, but no more water came through it due to the pipes so they had to rely on the snow for water until i got some thawed. After that, i have made sure to have a barrel of water in winter so i can give them enough for a night!

Other than that, we just make sure we have enough hay to get though a snowfall (that usually melts in about a day) and a dry spot to stand when its raining.
 

amysue

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Last year, a very close friend of mine was left to care for all of his wife's horses when she fell ill and was hospitalized. He was so lost because she was incapacitated and had no plan in place. That prompted me to put emergency phone numbers on the white board in my office, draw a feed chart and turnout schedule with detailed instructions and explain chore procedures to my best student and my husband (not that he retained any of my directions). That way, should I fall ill or be injured, I know my animals will be taken care of.

In the event of fire, extinguishers are located in all corners of the stables, cow barns, parlor and bays. Exits are clearly marked and annuly, the fire department does a training review to go over haltering horses in the event of pulling them from a burning barn. There are paddocks of permanent board fencing to contain horses incase of fire as I have seen horses run through electric fence back into burning barns. All of ours are micro chipped in the event of a wildfire (never happened here) or tornado or flud, in case we have to turn them loose and evacuate to survive in a s**t hits the fan scenario they have a better chance of being returned. We also have instructed fire police to open the gate on the cow barns in case of fire. Years ago, the largest dairy in our area burned, snd the fire marshall closed the doors, leaving the poor cows to burn because he feared the oxygen coming in from the doors would fuel the fire and flash burn. I still cry and feel sick when reminiscing about the smelly pile of dead cows who asphyxiated piling up atop one another at the end of the barn, fighting for their lives to escape. They have been told to let the cows out, let the barn burn. We rarely have tornado warnings, but a few have touched down close to us. We l7ve 8n a camper so...we are a magnet for tornados, lol. We plan to hunker down in the cement pit in thr milking parlor in the barn. Hopefully none of these disasters happen, but you can never be too careful.
 

paintponylvr

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To cover the problem with inability to feed - I try to keep updated feed charts in each barn/shed. Doesn't work the best, have to figure out a better way. Do have collars and name tags on most of the ponies (as I look at two name tags on my computer table and two other new baby collars I just finished braiding but haven't taken out and put on the young uns). I also need to figure out a way to mark each spot for ponies so that the right pony is in the right spot - though most have gotten better about going to their spots in the past two months. They have names on the small feed buckets that I need to redo again that match to their name tags. Now, need to do phone numbers on back of name tags. Current name tags are now 1 1/2 years old and worked great! They are the cattle ear tags that I "stitched" to their collars. They didn't work, however, for marking their spots on the fence lines - ink fading/wearing off and the treated tags turning clear in the hot sun... Short of making a wooden type sign or tag, I don't know what to try next for that... in 3rd pic, you can see the spot tag above Rio's forelock/ear.

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The boys name tags show well in this pic - a couple of these had just been put on the boys...

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The fire thing is a bit more scary and harder to address here at our newer place. Julie asked me about it once when she was boarding here and I don't really think she liked any of my answers at the time... I have two trailers that can have a lot of ponies shoved in them for emergency transport to ...somewhere. BUT I only have one truck. Julie's truck, at that time, wasn't able to pull either of our trailers and Julie also had never pulled a trailer (that one caught me by surprise as for some reason I thought she was familiar w/ that). Now her truck is set up to pull, she's pulled a trailer but she's no longer boarding at my place since her little fella went home to her new place last weekend - she is actually a LONG WAYS away. I am the only one who seems to know how to back up to and hitch either of the two trailers and am able to safely pull them anywhere - when I mention practicing any of that - my family, including my hubby, gets the "heebie-jeebies". I have talked to some of the horse farms in the area that don't have lots of trees and do have area - none would be pleased to be "flooded" with small ponies and many don't have appropriate fencing to hold (at least mine) ponies and the prices per day (think spaying and neutering a dog cat expensive??) were quite high and truthfully NOT AT ALL DOABLE especially as we'd be possibly looking to be in a hotel ourselves. BESIDES, our main, open pasture is more bare of trees and grass (at the moment) than most of the horse places I talked to - meaning they may very well be safest right here. Right now, our main problem is power - w/o power we have no way to draw water from the well. That is something we haven't gotten addressed yet and we've gotten such conflicting info/prices/usages re: generators that both Larry and I are a bit lost on that subject. It is one we seriously need to deal with as we've gotten even more animals!

Our manufactured home is covered in the vinyl siding and the roof is metal, the shop is all metal on a cement foundation/floor. But the trees come right up into our yard, over shading the shop and the two small storage sheds behind and on either side of the house. The pool is about 1/2 full of water right now and full during the summer - could use that water for hosing down the house and sheds (one is light weight metal and the other is wood). Next year, I'd like to clear some of the trees right up against buildings - but not sure how far back at the moment. Taking it far enough to be truly safe removes all shade and weather protection, sooo....

Then the talk turns to what would we do about/with burned animals or injuries due to wind gusts/blowing objects/going thru fences. Well, now. That is a completely different turn and I hate to say it but ponies would be "triaged" at different levels - 1st how severe is the injury and what will be required to repair it? 2nd - is it a young pony, older pony or one of the three (4 if you include our arab mare) "wild" girls that are extremely difficult to catch, difficult to handle with halters and almost impossible to touch? 3rd - which pony is it exactly? May be a family coming together to take care of one that is "favored" over one who is a little further down the "favored" scale. The depth of the injury and the type or amount of care would take precedence in the decision too. It would be sad - but right now on our current schedules, a level 2 or 3 burn over more than 25% of the body is/can be livable but wouldn't be real handle-able for our family at current work and financial status's. Burns require a lot of care or did the last few times I helped deal with some and followed the stories of another horse whose tail had been burned... Some care could be easily done by family - others probably couldn't. The girls and I, in the past, have worked hard at healing horses with severe injuries and whom had gone septic - we managed to keep them going and bring them about. Due to schedules - doing medications and some treatments were easy to split up. Other treatments were done by me or me and 1 or 2 of the girls together. We've brought horses "back" from a state that we were told the only thing to do was euthanasia. But right now, we aren't all in one home, we all work different time schedules and while my own job is "part time" at 30-35 hours, it doesn't allow time to do much before having to leave to be at work on time (sometimes I REALLY miss the job that i didn't have to be there until 9 or 10 am and worked until 4 or 5 pm). Coordinating those could be interesting and that doesn't take into account any human injuries during a major weather event or loss of vehicles. Trust me, I could set up a stall with fans, mist, lights and water up by my house OR out in the pasture near or in the "shed row". Might even be able to set up a pen w/ shelter at work - not in the vet fenced compound - but behind it. However that may not allow me/us to be able to treat the horse later in the evening... Lots of things to consider. I've got my personal list on whom would be "saved" if it came down to worst case scenarios. It's not a pretty or long one and if something happens to me - the directive to the family is do what you have to do - you and your families' lives matter most/more...

Eerrr - I need a glass of wine and a tissue now.
 

Cayuse

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We live in New England and get a lot of power outages in the winter. We have a generator. I keep a months supply of grain ahead and about two or three months worth of hay. I also keep any meds the horses might need stocked up.
 

Marsha Cassada

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I keep paste banamine on hand. Living rurally, it has come in very handy when a vet is not available.

A few years ago there were a lot of fire around. I kept the trailer handy in case I had to load the horses up quickly. We really should invest in a big water tank in a trailer.
 

AngC

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What do you have in place if you were ever faced with one of mother natures most extreme weather conditions?
We contemplate "mother nature's most extreme" every Fourth of July as we view neighbors lighting off illegal fireworks over top/in the vicinity of our cedar trees... The last couple years we've been hitching up the horse trailer prior to that holiday, but perhaps we could do more.

The most important priority to me is my husband; next down the line are my horses. In the case of fire, unless it was garden hose containable, I'd leave.
 

Ryan Johnson

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Well I was hoping Id never have to put emergency plans into action , but it wasn't the case last night.

I have an app on my phone that alerts me to any fire danger within a 30km radius of home. At 2pm yesterday I was notified that there was a fire at the end of the road on which i live. 3 fire trucks were attending to the blaze, so i stayed at work hoping Id receive a further update to say that the blaze was under control.

About ten minutes after receiving the original notification , another one came through. Unfortunately it was the "watch and act" message. This is the next level of message you receive that alerts you to the fact that the fire is not yet under control and moving quickly. So i grabbed my things and flew out the door at work and headed for home. As I was pulling into my street, my heart started to race as I could see the flames coming through the tops of the trees, the amounts of smoke coming at me was scary in itself.

I rushed inside and threw my things on the bench, Flew out the back door out to the back paddocks to take the fly nets & veils off the big horses. They were running around out of control, the helicopters were landing next door taking water from nearby properties to drop onto the flames.

After I managed to catch the horses and remove fly veils and fly sheets, I headed back up to the house which is at the front of the property. My minis also live in the paddocks next to the house. I emptied their water tough and filled it back up. I got them some feed and fed the three of them next to the shed so they would have some protection from the smoke and falling ash.

Then to my horror, the next message came through "EMERGENCY" - Its too late to evacuate , stay indoors. This is the message that "you dont" ever wanna receive. My Heart skipped a few beats then went into overdrive. Grabbed my 4WD put the water tank onto the back and got ready for what ever came my way.

Shortly after, the roads were closed for two hours, no traffic in or out until they finally brought it under control.

To say I never want to go through an experience like that is an understatement - Im just glad everyone in our area was ok.

And to our emergency services including 24 fire trucks , 3 helicopters (waterbombing) and one plane waterbomber- i cant thank you enough.
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So Plan ahead, watch and act to protect the ones you love , its hard enough trying to stay calm, let alone put an emergency action plan into place when you are faced with what Ive just been through.

So if you dont have an emergency plan, nows the time to get one into place
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Magic Marker Minis

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Glad everything worked out for you Ryan.

Several years ago, I worked at a ranch that had many riding horses and coyote (fox) hounds. We had a fire come over a ridge and was coming towards the ranch. We evacuated all but one load of horses and the dogs. They got the fire contained before having to send the last of the animals out. We had around twenty horses at different locations. Took several days to get all the horses back to the ranch.
 

susanne

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Wow, Ryan -- that is scary!

There has been endless coverage recently here in the northwest about THE BIG ONE -- a devastating earthquake and tsunami -- not a matter of "if" but "when". You can imagine the news coverage.

While I avoid the chicken little approach to life, I've always felt that the things that can be done to prepare for THE BIG ONE should already be done to prepare for THE LITTLE ONES. We were caught by a blizzard a few years back that had us snowbound for a week. We had most of what we needed, but we ran out of hay (we have little storage) and had to borrow from a neighbor, and coffee. Keith was able to hike down our hill to a nearby store, but I had to drink Folgers (yech!) That was an eye opener.

We now stock up for several weeks. We have a wood stove for heat and our septic is gravity-driven. While we're not survivalists (are there left-wing survivalists?), we have food and medicine backlogged for everyone. Our weak spot is our well. We're researching hand pumps and other means of getting water without power.For now, if we have warning we fill the bath tub and troughs.

Fire is definitely an issue, especially since I can't drive with my lousy vision. Our plan is to evacuate at the earliest hint of danger. As soon as we hear thunder, we turn our cargo van and ready it for animal transport. If Keith were gone and evacuation were necessary, I'd form a pack train and head all of us down the hill -- which would be quite a sight! On the positive side, I work from home and can keep tabs on everything.
 

Ryan Johnson

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I totally agree with you Susanne. I too, have always felt there must be something we can all do to prepare ourselves if mother nature threw something our way.

In addition to what i already had as part of the evacuation plan , and after reading your post above , I think i really need to put something into place if something were to happen and I "couldnt get out". (snow, flooding ect)

We dont usually get snow here but thats not to say that we wont one day. With our changing weather seasons I think its better to be prepared for just about any situation.

Fingers crossed for you that "Big one" never happens. Hope you can find a way to get water out of the well if there were to be no power. Just had to google what "Folgers" was, Im guessing its the equivalent of a coffee here called 'International roast" which we tend to call international dust. Brings a tear to your eye ( and not in a good way
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AngC

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I'm glad everything turned out OK, Ryan. This is a really good topic. I've learned from it.

paintponylvr mentioned feed charts. I tend to think in terms of getting out, but what if we couldn't get back in? (which almost happened a few years back when the river was flooding.) Or what if the husband and I were in a car wreck. So I made up a feed chart; just a simple thing of how much and when. There's a couple people we could call, but I think this would make it easier if we had to call them.

I worry about fire. I don't know whether that's a valid concern. We have some nice tinder in the form of cedar trees, but when lightning struck one of our trees I couldn't see any indication of fire (bad for our electrical, though.) There's forest fire potential nearby, but I'm not sure if that could spread through our development area. But if I had warning of fire coming, one thing I would do is shut off the valves on the propane tanks. I think I would also cut all electrical breakers too, before we left.

Getting a horse trailer that fits my truck was a big step in the right direction. I am going to have to nag the husband though, because we have two trailers and he keeps swapping two different sized hitches, and I never know which is where. ...'gonna have to put my foot down.

What's wrong with Folgers? I love Folgers Black Silk.
 

susanne

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The other day I read of someone keeping a card in their wallet stating that they have animals who depend upon them, and to please contact (name and phone #) as soon as possible. Otherwise, they may not be fed for days, especially if family members are too distraught or don't "get it". You could have all of your feeding instructions posted, but if nobody thinks to go take care of them, it's all for naught.

What's wrong with Folgers? I love Folgers Black Silk.
There's nothing wrong with it -- it's just not my drug of choice. Since I can't partake of other indulgences (sweets, alcohol, fatty foods), my primary vice is fresh-ground coffee. I'm addicted to dark Sumatran made with my French press. Less caffeine, yet it satisfies my cravings with one big mug -- Robusta coffees keep me drinking it all day, since I'm not satisfied. At leastI've been saved from home-roasting my own coffee beans, as I'm simply too lazy.
 

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