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how to prepare yourself as a farmer , and what to do when floods persist (must read farmer material)
Animal Husbandry

how to prepare yourself as a farmer , and what to do when floods persist (must read farmer material) 

Floods can impact animal health as well as human health. Make plans for your livestock and horses in the event you will need to evacuate your farm.

Before a Floods

  • Maintain an inventory.

□ Keep a current list of all animals on your farm.

□ Include their location and any records of vaccinations, testing and ownership.

  • Have identification for all animals.

□ Make sure animals have some form of permanent identification (e.g., ear tags, tattoos).

□ Ensure animals are properly vaccinated before exposure to floodwaters.

  • Prepare an evacuation kit.

□ Handling equipment (e.g., halters, nose leads)

□ Water, feed, and buckets

□ Medications

□ Tools and supplies needed for manure cleanup

□ Safety and emergency items for your vehicles and trailers

□ Gas powered generators • Make evacuation arrangements.

□ Determine possible evacuation areas – higher elevation, alternate production facilities (e.g., temporary milking parlors).

□ Determine several routes to these locations.

□ Identify alternate water or power sources.

□ Locate and prearrange feed and water delivery, needed equipment (e.g., milking) and services (e.g., milk pickup). □ Have well maintained backup generators for livestock production operations.

□ Make transport arrangements (e.g., trucks, trailers) with experienced handlers and drivers.

□ Condition animals to being loaded and transported.

  • Ensure a safe environment.

□ Assess the stability and safety of barns and other structures.

□ Remove dead trees or objects from fields or livestock areas that may serve as potential debris during a flood situation. During a Flood • Be aware animal behavior may change before, during and even after a disaster.

□ If you must evacuate, ensure your family’s safety first

□ If there is time – move or evacuate livestock and horses to higher ground.

  • AVOID leaving animals behind.

□ If there is no other alternative, keep gates or buildings open so they can escape high water.

□ Provide access to safe free-choice food source, clean water and the safest living areas possible.

□ Do not rely on automatic watering systems, because power may be lost.

□ Establish escape routes to safe locations (higher elevation).

□ Place your contact number and the name and number of your veterinarian on the building. After a Flood

  • Assess your animals and building structures.

□ Survey damage to your barns and other structures; assess the stability and safety.

□ Examine your animals closely; contact your veterinarian if you observe injuries or signs of illness.


  • Return animals only after the threat has passed and the safety of buildings or the area has been assessed

. □ Release animals in a safe and enclosed area until familiarity of the surroundings can occur.

  • Provide non-contaminated feed or water.

□ Provide clean, uncontaminated water.

□ Do not feed flood damaged or moldy feed or hay

. □ Do not use any feed or forage that may have been contaminated by chemical or pesticides.


  • Animal disposal.

□ Record any animal deaths.

□ Check with your state or local authorities for proper disposal methods for animal carcasses.

  • Prevent illness

. □ Keep animals away from flood waters which may contain harmful bacteria or chemicals.

□ Monitor animals daily for signs of illness

. Development of this educational material was by the Center for Food Security and Public Health with funding from the Multi-State Partnership for Security in Agriculture MOU-2010-HSEMD-004. June 2010.

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