FLOOD - A flood is an abnormal progressive rise in the water level of streams or rivers which may result in overflowing. Floods in the Caribbean can often be caused by heavy rainfall, dam or levee failures, tsunamis, storm surges or burst water mains.
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Livestock & Farm Protection

Like any disaster, flooding can have a serious impact on animals’ health and safety. When these animals are your major livelihood or food source, you should ensure that you know what measures to put in place to protect them in the event that a disaster threatens your area.

Here are a few pointers:

Create an Emergency Plan

  • Where will you take your animals should you choose to relocate them?
  • Is your area a flood prone area?
  • Do you have enough feed available in the event that the disaster prevent you from restocking?
  • Who will you contact for assistance in these areas?
  • Will you need any staff to stay on location during the flood?

Create an Emergency Contact List

This list should include persons that you may need to assist you before, during and after the emergency.
Below is a short list of people that you may need to contact, store this information in an easy to access but safe place that you will remember.

  • Veterinarians
  • Transportation service for animals/livestock
  • Animal shelters
  • Staff (if there are employees on your farm)
  • Neighbours
  • Feed suppliers

N.B make sure you provide more than one contact for each as when a disaster is expected, businesses may be overbooked.

Stock Up on Food and Water

During any disaster it is important to make sure that animals have access to enough food and clean water. Store extra feed well away from expected water levels.

Remove Chemicals

The presence of garbage, chemicals and fertilizers can act as contaminants to the floodwaters, soil and even fresh water sources which floodwaters may come in contact with.

Here are a few tips to help reduce the risk of this hazard occurring.

  • Create a checklist of all hazardous substances on the compound. Transfer all contaminants to higher storage areas (including chemical, fertilizers, pesticides and fuels). Check containers for leaks, and replace any faulty containers or packaging. Label all containers with materials or substances that may be hazardous.
  • Correctly dispose of all garbage

Secure Potential Debris

Hurricanes and tropical weather systems can bring plenty rain which eventuates in flooding. Often times, strong winds accompany the rain. Secure any objects, which can become flying or floating debris as they can become dangerous missiles (e.g. feeding troughs, garden tools, outdoor machinery, boats, trailers, propane tanks etc.)

Animal ID

During flooding, livestock tend to seek shelter. This often causes them to get lost or wonder onto neighbouring properties. All livestock should have clear identification tags with your contact information so that they can be found and reunited with you. Take inventory of your animals before the flood.

Keep Animals Free and Away From Dangerous Areas

Do not attempt to keep your animals restrained, they tend to be good swimmers and should be free to move as necessary. Move them to higher ground and keep them away from flood prone areas or structures.

After the Flood

The Recovery Process

Any good emergency plan helps you to prepare for the aftermath of the disaster. The effects of flooding can be life threatening or cause serious injury, it is important to have an idea of the dangers, which may be waiting after the flood.

Possible Dangers

  • Abnormal levels of stagnant water - this acts as the ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes. At this point one can expect larger numbers of mosquitoes and possibly flies being present and they can act as pests to both people and animals.
  • Livestock carcasses or sick animals
  • Countries with wild animals such as snakes etc. can expect to see them displaced from their regular habitat
  • Contaminated food and water supply
  • Injured or ill persons
  • Damage to surrounding structures/inundation of barns/homes/streets etc

After the flood has passed, the clean up process begins. It may be some time before water levels subside, however, as soon as it is safe, there are a few things you should do to get your farm and livestock back in order.

Examine Food and Water Supply

Feeding your animals contaminated substances, or moldy feed can create undesirable digestive problems, or even poisoning. Make sure that feed and water is free from contaminants before giving it to your animals.

Remove Dangerous Objects

Sharp or pointy objects can cause serious damage or injury to livestock or staff. Inspect your property and have any such items removed immediately. Repair any broken fences. Removing these objects can also protect your farming equipment from damage.

Count Livestock

Count all livestock to check for missing animals. Inform neighbours or the relevant authorities of any lost animals. Make sure to notify them that your animals should be wearing ID and provide them with your contact information.

Animal Inspection

After flooding, animal often times become fatigue, wounded or at times they contract diseases.

  • If animal carcasses are discovered, these should be buried immediately, at least 4 ft deep covered with lime. This helps to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.
  • Certain ailments/diseases are prevalent after flooding. Check for signs of leptospirosis, pneumonia or foot rot. Quarantine sick animals, then contact your veterinarian.
  • Use insect repellants keep flies, mosquitoes and other pests away.

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