Hurricane season is right around the corner and the 2021 hurricane season is expected to be an active one. Now is the time to prepare.
“I’m urging everyone to have a plan in place for you, your family, your property and your pets/livestock in the event you are in the path of a storm,” said Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry Mike Strain, D.V.M.
Louisiana residents should have a plan in place for their property, pets and/or livestock in the event a storm threatens.
“This is the time to prepare your property so if you need trees cut, it is recommended you use a licensed arborist. This protects you because they are trained and must maintain liability insurance,” said Strain.
Refer to the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) website or LDAF Business App for mobile devices to verify the current license status of an arborist.
As for animals, livestock owners should identify an area on their property that is least likely to flood and where the animals can be moved, if necessary. During an evacuation, it is important to leave early and have a place to go that allows livestock and or family pets.
Tips on preparing livestock trailers:
· Check tire pressure and rubber for wear
· Test brake and running lights
· Inspect the overall condition of the trailer
Proper identification for livestock that are evacuated is crucial during a natural disaster.
Important livestock items to take during an evacuation:
- Health records (especially proof of EIA testing for horses)
- Special medications
- Bridles or leads
Important pet items to take during an evacuation:
- Health records
- Food and food bowls
- Special medications
- Pet carriers
By law, the LDAF is designated by the Louisiana Homeland Security and Emergency Assistance and Disaster Act to assist in evacuating and sheltering household pets for evacuated citizens going to shelters during declared emergencies. The LDAF 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.
The LDAF also provides fuel for emergency vehicles, hospitals, nursing homes, shelters and other emergency operations that require fuel. The LDAF is prepared to move forward on this, if necessary.
Hurricane season starts June 1 and ends November 30. For more information on emergency preparation for livestock and pets, visit www.LDAF.la.gov and click on the Emergency Programs icon on the right hand side of the page. For more information on how to prepare a family and business plan, go to www.getagameplan.org.