Monday, August 20, 2012

Emergency Preparedness for Alpaca Owners

Emergency Preparedness for Alpaca Owners

Its always good to review your emergency preparedness plan from time to time.  We have crazy fires around us, so it helpful to be ready if something were to happen - flooding, snowing, fires, earthquake, whatever. As we have seen in the news recently, natural disasters can occur at any time and each area of the country has its own unique circumstances. Make sure you are aware of potential disasters common to your area, be it wildfires, tornados or flooding, and have plans in place for either evacuation or shelter for your animals.

Barn fires are one of the most common disasters for large animals. Preventing barn fires and being prepared in case of a fire can make the difference between life and death of your animals. Knowing the danger of fires and how to deal with them are important and vigilance is the key to prevention.

Fire Prevention Tips
  • Avoid parking tractors or other vehicles in or near the barn. Engine heat and backfires can spark a flame.
  • Inspect electrical systems regularly and immediately correct any problems. Rodents can chew on electrical wiring and cause damage that can become a hazard.
  • Prohibit smoking in or around the barn.
  • Be sure hay is dry before storing it. Hay that is too moist may spontaneously combust.
  • Be prepared for a barn fire
  • Keep aisles, stall doors and barn doors free of debris and equipment.
  • Keep fire extinguishers around the barn, especially at all entrances.
  • Post emergency telephone numbers at each telephone and entrance.
  • Keep the barn street address clearly posted to relay to the 911 operator.
  • Have a planned evacuation route for every stall in the barn.
  • Familiarize employees and all people routinely in the barn with the evacuation plan.
  • Consider installing smoke alarms and heat detectors throughout the barn. These can be hooked up to sirens that will quickly alert you and your neighbors to a possible barn fire.
  • In the event of a barn fire
  • Immediately call 911 or your local emergency services.
  • Do not enter the barn if it is already engulfed in flames.
  • If it is safe for you to enter the barn, evacuate animals one at a time starting with the most accessible ones.
  • Never let animals loose in an area where they are able to return to the barn