Tuesdays with Tony
Yes I know I do this every year around June 1st, but it’s because you humans are very bad at listening. Hurricane season has officially begun. It’s time to play “Let’s get prepared for a disaster!” The Farm Version.
Hurricanes love to pick stuff up and throw it around. Look around the farm for those items. Make a burn pile for the stuff can get burned, and a dump pile for the stuff that can’t. Once in piles, actually remove them. Wait until we get some rain, but then burn that burn pile. No need to wait for anything for the dump run. Bonus: Dump runs can usually be counted on for some entertainment from other humans making dump runs as well. Most important: do something with the debris. Don’t let it sit around until the next Hurricane Michael is at Cedar Key. At that point everyone in your county will be at the dump trying to get rid of their debris. Be a smart human!
Identify your stuff
Microchip your horse. It’s easy. It’s cost effective. It’s permanent. Do it now. Also works for your dogs and cats. I say it works for humans too, but some frown upon that.
Identify more than just your pets and relatives, though. Take a few minutes to shoot a video or take pictures of your truck and trailer, vehicles, tack room, and barn. Anything you think you would claim on insurance should be documented. Those phones you humans carry around to take pictures of yourself and your horse can be used for this, too. Upload it to that place called the cloud so it’s safe. A few moments now can save you a ton of hassles with insurance later.
Stockpile a few things
Think about what you will need if power is out. Take advantage of the Tax Holiday in Florida on some things. Common stuff you can stockpile now include batteries, flashlights, tarps, duct tape (can you ever have enough?), and gas cans. Horses drink a LOT of water. Think now about how you are going to provide that water. Plastic trash cans with lids work great! Large water troughs work well, too. Whatever you are going to use, now is the time to make sure you have it, and it doesn’t leak. If you are going to evacuate (more on that in a sec), be sure you have enough water and feed buckets for everyone.
Should I stay or should I go?
There’s a different answer for everyone, but the important thing now is to make a plan. Even if you intend on staying, you should still make an evacuation plan. It’s just a good idea. The tricky part about evacuating with horses is the timing. You need to leave the area 4-5 days before the projected hit. Traffic is way too bad if you wait until the last minute. Now is the time to call places you may evacuate to and find out what they require. The Agriculture Inspection Station will often waive the Health Certificate requirement during evacuations. However, your destination will likely require a Coggins at a minimum, and may require certain vaccines as well. Check your Coggins now on ALL the horses you might evacuate. Getting them done as a routine appointment is so, so much easier than doing them as an emergency. Bonus: my Docs can microchip your horses at the same time! Easy peasey.
We all like to pretend hurricanes are no big deal, but this cat has been around long enough to know you humans don’t really believe that. Spend some time now getting ready, and then you can enjoy that hurricane party as you watch for Jim Cantore’s latest location.
All well trained humans will now scroll down to the subscribe button. Press the button, enter your email, and get my blog a day before everyone else. If that’s not motivation, I don’t know what is!
Until next week,
P.S. Want more? Check out the podcast my docs do called Straight from the Horse Doctor’s Mouth. They just released an episode on Disaster Preparedness, and it’s chock full of good information.
Tuesdays with Tony is the official blog of Tony the Clinic Cat at Springhill Equine Veterinary Clinic in Newberry, Florida. If you liked this blog, please subscribe below, and share it with your friends on social media! For more information, please call us at (352) 472-1620, visit our website at SpringhillEquine.com, or follow us on Facebook!