Hurricane & Natural Disaster Preparedness for Livestock

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As Hurricane Idalia left our area of North Carolina with little rain, there are more that are spinning up in the Atlantic. Hurricane Lee is slowly building in the Atlantic, getting stronger by the day. Although Hurricanes can change their paths at any given time, they can also bring strong winds and rain without the hurricane even being close. During the fall hurricane season it is important to have a farm and livestock emergency plan in place in case there is a threat of a hurricane or severe storms.

Key Features to Have in Place for our Livestock

  • Make sure there is plenty of fresh water available- Fill any and all available tubs with clean water before the storm. If you have an automatic watering system, these will not work when there is no power.
  • Make sure you have plenty of feed, hay/forages stored in as dry and accessible of a location as possible, so that you can access these after the storm has passed.
  • Gather leads/leashes/halters or any other restraining devices. If you halter a horse during severe weather, make sure halters are breakaway. Horses and other livestock can be left out during severe weather!
  • Make sure all barn doors are shut and secured.
  • Have identification tags attached to livestock if possible. For horses you can use cattle ear tags braided into the mane or tail or attached to a halter with information written on the back.
  • Take a livestock/poultry inventory. Know what you have and where they are!
  • If you are needing safe handling/facilities for birds out of the weather, dog crates will work for transporting them. If leaving your birds, make sure they have access to dry food and fresh water if possible. Birds will roost higher if necessary.


  • If evacuating with your animals, make sure you have proper identification methods and vaccination/medical records as needed.
  • Make sure you have roughly two weeks of feeds and medications
  • Know evacuation locations: Veterinary Hospitals, Land Grant Universities, stockyards, stables, fairgrounds, etc.
  • Have transportation for livestock available

Being an Evacuation Site

  • If you are being an evacuation location or would like to become one, visit the Veterinary Planning Site.
    • On this site scroll down to the header: Animal Disaster Sheltering Resources and take note of their forms and worksheets for being a livestock evacuation location

For more information visit: FEMA