Emergency preparedness for people with livestock.
To be prepared in an emergency, it is recommended each home has a written and practiced emergency plan, kit and an evacuation kit for the family and another for the animals.
An emergency plan should consist of a ‘plan A’ and a ‘plan B’. This ensures your family has two options, should one not be viable at the time. Your plan should address:
- An evacuation route and method. Try to include more than one exit.
- An evacuation meeting point (e.g. the park across the road )
- Where the animals will be evacuated to. Arrange two options such as family or friends in two different locations if possible.
- Have a list of important phone numbers e.g. Police, Ambulance, Friends and family.
- How will you communicate? Use sms texting where possible.
- Should address how often the plan will be practiced
- Should address an evacuation kit
Be aware of weather warnings and on days of extreme weather via the Bureau of meteorology site or ABC news radio (http://www.abc.net.au/newsradio/listen/frequencies.htm), be prepared to evacuate. Be aware that during some emergencies, you may be out at work or otherwise and not have access to your home. Discuss your plans with your neighbours and plan to work together to help each other in these situations.
If you can evacuate your livestock, have your truck prepared, maintained and ready to go. Check that is maintained at least twice a year.
Take note of the weather and emergency warnings and listen to ABC News radio (http://www.abc.net.au/newsradio/listen/frequencies.htm).
In the event of a fire, if safe to do so, move livestock to an area predicted safest from the fire. Choose an area with less vegetation if possible. If this area has a dam this may also help protect horses from the fire. Hose areas and buildings and surrounding vegetation with water. In some cases, depending on the number of livestock you own, it may be possible to evacuate the livestock via truck to a pre-designated area decided in your emergency plan.
In the event of a flood, if it is safe to do so, move livestock to the highest ground. Ensure they have fodder and water available.
Be aware that livestock are flight animals and can react unpredictably when frightened, your safety is paramount.
Do not let livestock loose on the road, these areas must remain clear so that emergency service vehicles have access and can assist your community.
Remember, the earlier you put your plans in to action e.g. evacuate, the safer you and your animals will be.
ABC News radio will provide relevant updates (http://www.abc.net.au/newsradio/listen/frequencies.htm)