Critter Safety During Inclement Weather

If you are a horse farm owner or you own other livestock or pets, please print out and save this article. It contains important information you may need in case of a power outage as a result of the potential serious hurricane approaching our area..

The National Weather Service is tracking the possibility of a potentially dangerous and slow-moving storm affecting the mid-Atlantic region Sunday, October 28 through Tuesday, October 30. “Hurricane Sandy” is predicted to bring strong, damaging, sustained winds of 70+mph, extremely heavy rainfall, major stream and river flooding, and major coastal flooding which will be intensified by the full moon on October 29. Under these conditions, extended power outages and the problems associated with them are expected. NOW is the time to make emergency preparations for you, family, friends, and clients, as well as pets and other animals. The following are also useful planning and preparedness websites:

– American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA): Information on Emergency Preparedness –

– American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP): Emergency and Disaster Preparedness –

– Red Cross: Disaster Preparedness for Pets –

If the state is severely impacted by the storm, the New York Department of Agriculture & Markets will be among the state agencies responding from the State Emergency Operations Center. Pertinent information will be distributed as it becomes available. Until then, stay tuned to the National Weather Service’s updates and follow recommended safety precautions.

Extensive resources are available regarding livestock and pets at CCE NY EDEN’s website-

Owners of pets and livestock should implement emergency plans and bring pets with them if asked to evacuate. Pet owners should have a portable pet carrier for each animal and identification for each animal. Bring copies of the pet’s licenses, leashes, water and food bowls, pet foods, bottled water, special medications and instructions for their administration, any special needs for your pet, blankets, handy wipes, paper towels and litter or bedding. Please visit the following websites to find pet friendly motel or contact major hotel chains for their policies regarding pets.

Keith G. Tidball,
Senior Extension Associate
Dept. of Natural Resources, Cornell University
Associate Director, Cornell Civic Ecology Lab (CEL)

Theme Leader,
Environmental Dimensions of Human Security
New York State
Extension Disaster Education Network Coordinator
Faculty Fellow,
David R. Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future

Folks… a few preparation points below for the ag community. 
Also see the EDEN website at


Power and Food/Water Activities:
  • Anticipate power outages. Check to see that your generator is in good working order. Consider purchasing a generator if you currently do not have one.
  • Make sure your house or barn has been wired such that a generator could be connected and that you have a transfer switch or other isolated means to connect to the generator.
  • Purchase sufficient amounts of fuel to operate your generator and other equipment on the farm.
  • Charge batteries on cell phones and cameras. Have extra batteries.
  • Pump and store adequate supplies of drinking water for humans and animals in the likelihood of power outages. SC-EMO recommends a minimum 72-hour reserve.
Livestock Activities:
  • Check feed inventory and order extra if needed. Move feed, including round bales to higher ground, or to a more accessible place in case of flooding or transportation problems.
  • Determine the best places for livestock on your property, where they have the best chance of being free from flying debris, heavy winds and rain. This may mean moving livestock and poultry to higher ground if possible or sheltering them in securely battened barns, houses or tightly fenced areas.
Equipment Activities:
  • Secure or remove items or equipment that could become blowing debris.
  • Remove hoop houses from low-lying areas that could be subject to high water.
  • Move equipment to the highest, open ground possible away from trees or buildings.
General Preparedness:
  • Make a list of important phone numbers ahead of time in order to make calls following a storm. Numbers to include are your County Emergency Management Office, county extension agent, insurance agent, county Farm Service Agency and private veterinarian.
Important phone numbers:
  • Call 911 ONLY if you have an emergency.
  • For non-emergency resource assistance call 211.
  • For information about road closures call 511.
  • Sign-up for NY-ALERT at or call NY-ALERT by calling 1-888-697-6972.