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Preparing Livestock for Emergencies

| 10/22/2014 3:25:00 PM

Life and Adventures at Diamond W RanchI have a black and white photo of a tornado sitting on a cabinet in my house. It always used to hang on the wall in my grandparent’s house, and now that they are gone, it reminds me of them. But the picture also reminds me of the awesome and terrible power of those tornadoes.


This photo of a tornado was taken by my grandparents many years ago. The tornado was not far from their farmhouse in rural Kansas.

This photo of a tornado was taken by my grandparents many years ago. The tornado was not far from their farmhouse in rural Kansas.

Our family farm had a tornado near-miss back in the early 1990s, many years before we moved out here. The tornado struck our neighbor’s farm, just across the road, and took their barn and house. I often think about what we would do if the unthinkable happened, and we were to be struck by a tornado or other disaster. My family would hopefully make it to the cellar, which must be accessed by going outside. But what would happen to the animals? What about other possible disasters? I’m sure others of you have had the same thoughts. And it is wise to plan ahead.

First, make a plan. Think about the possible disasters or emergencies that could (realistically) happen on your farm. Flash floods, tornadoes, fires, hurricanes and blizzards are all possibilities and can cause even more stress if you are not prepared. Write out your plan and make sure everyone knows what the plan is and where the written plan can be found. If your plan includes evacuating animals, be sure you have room on your trailer for them all, or arrange for someone to be on standby if the need for evacuation arises. Be sure to include contact information for yourself, contact info for your veterinarian, farrier, etc., and other alternative contact numbers such as friends, family and neighbors.

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