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Old 05-08-2009, 07:46 AM
1,297 posts, read 3,158,208 times
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This just cranks my cows tail...

I am a big fan of planning and like to have an accurate and well prepped farm plan and thus felt in case of an emergency I should make plans now. So I did some checking, compiled some stuff and got a 22 page Livestock Disaster Plan made up and added to my farm plan. Well I needed two things:

To see if an agreement was in place for area State Fairs because they provide pens and could provide off-farm shelter in case I need to move my sheep/cows to a safe place.

I also needed a list of people in my county who had transportation trailers/vehicles to move these livestock.

So I called up my county Emergency Management Agency and I did not get much of a reply. In fact they said flat out "We only care about human lives". Now in some ways I can understand that, but as I explained to them, if farmers have no action plan in place during a disaster, and must stay on farm to deal with livestock, then this counties lack of a livestock plan may be putting human lives at risk after all. Okay now maybe that is a stretch but since my livelihood comes from livestock it would behoove me to have a disaster plan in place for my livestock.

I guess the powers that be simply want to let our livestock suffer during a disaster and then apply for Federal FEMA Money afterwords and get some emergency money from the FSA and USDA afterwords...so much for rewarding the farmer with a bit of help BEFORE a disaster strikes. Maybe I am blowing this out of proportion but it would seem to me, in a county with a high volume of farms and livestock, a better livestock emergency plan would be in place. I can do my part, but what about the other people with livestock living here?

As I said it just cranks my cows tail sometimes that some Gov people have a pay-after-the-fact mentality instead of preventing castasrophe through planning.
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Old 05-08-2009, 11:29 AM
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
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Join a Grange or Co-op and/or start a mutual aid list. Don't depend on the government for anything except getting in the way.
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Old 05-08-2009, 04:39 PM
Location: Great State of Texas
86,093 posts, read 73,635,099 times
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Here's some articles on the livestock rescue and evacuation that went on in South Texas for Hurricane Ike:

Post-Hurricane Ike Livestock Rescue Continues in Southeast Texas - eXtension News (http://www.extension.org/pages/Post-Hurricane_Ike_Livestock_Rescue_Continues_in_Southe ast_Texas - broken link)

Operation 'No Fences' Hurricane Ike Horse and Cattle Relief - Blogging with Brian

Here in Texas the Ag Extension office is one of the best sources of help.

Also Craig's List came big into play with folks offering pasture space for displaced livestock til the owners could get their places fixed.
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Old 05-08-2009, 05:29 PM
Location: Central Texas
20,487 posts, read 38,404,041 times
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There's a lot of grassroots organizations (and not so organizations) that come into play when these kinds of disasters strike. Plus groups that give training in how to plan for such eventualities. Mostly they have to do with horses (horse folk tend to pull together for each other, or at least for each other's horses, but they should work for a reasonable number of cattle and other creatures, as well.
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Old 05-08-2009, 05:48 PM
Location: Lead/Deadwood, SD
948 posts, read 2,395,889 times
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In our area we recently had some flooding due due excessive snow melt -- now I suppose in TX rain would be more of an issue, but a large amount of livestock in our region had went into a low lying areas for wind and snow protection from a storm. The following days were quite warm and there was
a horrible combination of snow and mud -- many livestock were trapped against a once dry creek beds and steep muddy terrain. Ranchers with tracked vehicles fared much better than those without. Getting feed into these areas was more than the 4wd tractors could handle. I heard one guy saved 30 head with a 4 wheeler that had an after market track system. He had to haul 1-2 bails of hay at time but it worked. Some hired helicopters to do feed drops, while others had less luck and resources and lost more than imaginable.
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Old 05-09-2009, 05:36 PM
Location: Nebraska
4,178 posts, read 9,536,988 times
Reputation: 9580
It really does depend on where you are. The place that I adopted my dog from in Florida has an extensive list of foster places for animals stricken by hurricanes (there are lots of dairy and beef cattle in FL - who knew?) . They even enlisted help from FL folk to go save the LA animals after Katrina; horse trailers stringing along the interstate right next to the supply trucks and house trailers! Where I lived in SC before, though - there was nothing - no list, no local or State organization, to help folks with animals. FEMA has been talking for YEARS about instigating this; there was a movement to enlist the humane societies and shelters, but Katrina blew that out of the water as everyone fled and left the animals to fend for themselves, even in the shelters. Now that FEMA has been taken over by Homeland Security, there is less prep for natural disasters and more prep for man-made ones.

I was told that three years ago here a three-day blizzard struck. There was no access to the ranches or cattle, many froze in the valleys. My next door neighbor had to drive seven miles to his ranch - even with a 4WD it took him two hours. The Farmer's union here bands together and some have planes to drop hay and four-wheelers to plow through - but the area is so rural that most people were snowed in on their ranches for over a week, no electricty - which also meant no running water as that is what runs the pumps.

Few local and state EM agencies have the fundage (or apply for the fundage) to do mitigation for animals; they have enough trouble doing the mitigation for people. Understaffed and over budget, when a disaster happens everyone thinks they'll call the Feds and get help. Life doesn't always work that way... All I can tell you is get together with your co-op or union and put together your own plan, because no one else can or will. There are grants available but no one in an EM office knows how to implement them - or why.
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