As two tropical weather systems with potential for development are predicted to enter the Gulf of Mexico early this week, Louisiana Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., is urging everyone to finalize preparations for their property, pets and/or livestock in the event a storm threatens Louisiana.
“The tropical outlook remains uncertain at this time, people are often busy over the weekend and it is important that citizens stay weather aware,” Strain said. “Monitor weather forecasts and prepare to move livestock and equipment to higher ground, if necessary. As we continue to work to stay healthy and protect our families during the COVID-19 pandemic, be sure to include items such as hand sanitizer and face coverings for each family member in your disaster kit.”
While no evacuations have been recommended at this time, it is a good idea to check the condition of your trailer tires, have livestock health documentation in order and anything else you may need if you must evacuate and move livestock. Proper identification for livestock that are evacuated is crucial during a natural disaster. Identify an area on the property that is least likely to flood and where livestock can quickly and easily be moved when severe weather threatens the area.
Tips on preparing livestock trailers:
Check tire pressure and rubber for wear
Test brake and running lights
Inspect the overall condition of the trailer
Important livestock items to take during an evacuation:
Health records (especially proof of EIA testing for horses)
Bridles or leads
Important pet items to take during an evacuation:
Food, water and bowls
Livestock owners who need assistance should call their local Office of Emergency Preparedness (OEP). For additional information related to pets during disasters, contact your local animal control and/or OEP.
By law, the LDAF is designated by the Louisiana Homeland Security and Emergency Assistance and Disaster Act to assist in the evacuation and sheltering household pets for evacuated citizens going to shelters during declared emergencies. The LDAF now has two mobile pet shelters to assist in keeping family pets in close proximity to their owners when an evacuation is necessary. Those pet trailers and LDAF employees are ready to be mobilized, if necessary.
Hurricane season ends November 30. For more information on emergency preparation for livestock and pets, visit LDAF.la.gov and click on the Emergency Programs icon on the right hand side of the page.