FEMA: Disaster Information & Online Courses for Livestock Owners

August 27th, 2006 3:56 pm by Kelly Garbato

In addition to offering disaster guidelines for “pet owners,” FEMA also has recommendations for those who care for “livestock” (oy, how I hate those terms!).

As with companion animals, an online Independent Study (IS) course is available for livestock as well:

* IS-111 Livestock In Disasters

Additionally, FEMA recommends that livestock owners take the general “animals in disasters” courses aimed at companion animals:

* IS-10 Animals in Disaster, Awareness and Preparedness

* IS-11 Animals in Disaster, Community Planning

In general, FEMA/EMI IS courses are free to US citizens and can be completed in two to twelve hours, all from the comfort of your home. To learn more, please see their FAQ. A full list of their 50+ courses is available here.

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Information for Livestock Owners

If you have large animals such as horses, cattle, sheep, goats, or pigs on your property, be sure to prepare before a disaster.
 
 
Preparation Guidelines:

* Ensure all animals have some form of identification that will help facilitate their return.

* Evacuate animals whenever possible. Arrangements for evacuation, including routes and host sites, should be made in advance. Alternate routes should be mapped out in case the planned route is inaccessible.

* The evacuation sites should have or be able to readily obtain food, water, veterinary care, handling equipment and facilities.

* Make available vehicles and trailers needed for transporting and supporting each type of animal. Also make available experienced handlers and drivers.

Note: It is best to allow animals a chance to become accustomed to vehicular travel so they are less frightened and easier to move.

* If evacuation is not possible, a decision must be made whether to move large animals to available shelter or turn them outside. This decision should be determined based on the type of disaster and the soundness and location of the shelter (structure).
 
 
Cold Weather Guidelines:

When temperatures plunge below zero, livestock producers need to give extra attention to their animals. Prevention is the key to dealing with hypothermia, frostbite and other cold weather injuries in livestock.

Making sure your livestock has the following help prevent cold-weather maladies:

* Shelter

* Plenty of dry bedding to insulate vulnerable udders, genitals and legs from the frozen ground and frigid winds.

* Windbreaks to keep animals safe from frigid conditions.

* Plenty of food and water

Also, take extra time to observe livestock, looking for early signs of disease and injury. Severe cold-weather injuries or death primarily occur in the very young or in animals that are already debilitated. Cases of coldweather-related sudden death in calves often result when cattle are suffering from undetected infection, particularly pneumonia. Sudden, unexplained livestock deaths and illnesses should be investigated quickly so that a cause can be identified and steps can be taken to protect remaining animals.

Animals suffering from frostbite don’t exhibit pain. It may be up to two weeks before the injury becomes evident as freeze-damaged tissue starts to slough away. At that point, the injury should be treated as an open wound and a veterinarian should be consulted.
 
 
Last Modified: Tuesday, 21-Mar-2006 08:41:50 EST

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Additional Disaster Information from FEMA is available here.

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