Emergency preparedness for horses and people.

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 (, 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.

Evacuation Kits

Each person in the house should know where the evacuation kit/s are stored and they should be easy to access in an emergency. When planning your family are organising your evacuation kit, think about what your family needs.

Different types of animals have different needs and the following lists for evacuation kits may be altered to suit your situation. The cost of being prepared needn’t be great, most evacuation kits can be made from items you already have in your home.

For more information on what is recommended in your family’s evacuation kit visit the community section of our website.

Horse Evacuation Kit– items to be used only in an emergency

  • Halter and identification tag (It is recommended horses are micro chipped, ensure these details are up to date)
  • Lead rope
  • Horse coat
  • Important papers: vaccine record, medical history, registration, microchip papers, photo of your pet for ID, pharmacy scripts for medicine.
  • Water
  • Food for three days
  • Feed bag, feed bucket
  • Medication

Take note of the weather and emergency warnings and listen to ABC News radio (

In some cases, depending on the number of horses you own, it may be possible to evacuate via float to a pre-designated area decided in your emergency plan.

Part of being prepared means that vehicles are filled with adequate levels of fuel and vehicles and floats are mantained so that you and your whole family can evacuate safely.


In the event of a fire move horses as early and as safely as possible, 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 the event of a flood, if safe to do so, move horses to the highest ground. Ensure they have fodder and water available.


Be aware that horses are flight animals and can react unpredictably when frightened, your safety is paramount. It is recommended that horses are walked via a lead rope in an emergency, not ridden.

Do not let horses 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 evacuate, the safer you and your animals will be.

Emergency Kit for Horses- items in the kit to be used only in an emergency

An emergency kit is used in the event that an emergency occurs and you are required to stay inside your home. In this situation, utilities such as electricity and water may not be working, so it is important to prepare. This kit is a separate kit to the evacuation kit. A box containing all of your pets needs for three days is required.

It should include;

– Water for at least three days
– Fodder for at least three days
– Medicines
– A first aid Kit
– Horse coat

You may think of other things your horse needs to place in the kit.

For more information on horses, visit the DFES website

For more information on what you can do to help prepare your family, visit the DFES website.