Friday, January 21, 2011

Are You Prepared?

My day job is working in emergency management for colleges and universities. Part of EM is having an emergency plan, i.e. planning ahead should any type of disaster happen and how the school would get through the disaster with minimal loss (both property and life).

I started thinking last night about plans for barns and I am curious if your barn has one. What would happen if there was a fire? Do you have enough paddocks to get all of the horses out of the barn and into a safe place? Do you have spoken or written agreements with neighboring farms for them to temporarily house your horses? Similar arrangements would need to be made if your barn flooded, sustained major structural damage, etc.

If you keep all of your paperwork in a barn office, do you have copies of your horses health certificates, proof of ownership, and registrations in a separate location should the originals be destroyed?

If you don't own a trailer, do you have contact numbers for people who do in case you need to get your horses out of danger? This also links in with medically-related instances where a trailer is needed, like if your horse colics and your vet tells you it needs surgery. This always weighs heavily on my mind, as I don't own a trailer.

Do you have an updated catalog of all the tack in the barn with photos and serial numbers (specifically of saddles) in case you lose everything? Replacement via insurance claims will go a lot more smoothly if you can provide that documentation. Homeowners insurance will often times cover the loss of privately owned equipment. I know the policy that Kenny and I have for our house does, but I have been slacking big time on putting the information about my saddle on file with them.

No one likes to consider that disaster and loss could affect them, but the reality is that you just never know what's around the corner. In the past few years we have had major flooding (at least here in RI where parts of this state are still recovering from the catastrophic flooding we had this past spring), and there have been numerous barn fires in this area. In California you have the incredible rain storms, which lead to land slides. Earthquakes and hurricanes can cause major and widespread destruction. Tornadoes are like mother nature's way of rolling a dice and seeing which building gets sucked up. The moment when you get the news that a major disaster is imminent is NOT the time to wonder what to do with your horses.

1 comment:

  1. Thank god our horses all live outside. I do wish we had someone horsey living on the property in case horses got loose in the night or something.


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