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Emergencies and disasters such as barn fires, blizzards or floods are common risks in agricultural communities across Alberta. Being prepared will help you protect your farm animals, livestock and property so you can overcome unexpected situations as quickly as possible.

Know the risks

Identifying the hazards helps you prepare and reduce the impact when sudden events do occur.

Common hazards

  • Hazards vary depending on where you live, but can include:
  • overland flooding from nearby creeks, rivers, canals and lakes
  • out of control fires in nearby grasslands, forests, and farm structures such as barns
  • severe storms such as extreme wind, tornadoes, heavy rain and blizzards
  • hazardous waste spills and the release of dangerous goods
  • diseases and/or pests that affect animals and crops

Make a plan

A well thought-out plan can help you respond effectively, protect your animals and property and help you cope with the stress of the emergency or disaster.

Plan considerations

When building your plan consider the following:

  • Build a map. Outline the buildings on the property and include key services (power and water sources), access points, equipment locations, and dangerous chemical storage. Post your map in each building.
  • Set a meeting place or muster point in case an evacuation is ordered. Make sure everyone knows the locations and ensure that there is feed, water and shelter for any animals you can evacuate. Consider seasonal weather impacts.
  • Create safe transportation methods. If possible, practice loading and transporting your animals.
  • Ensure animals are visually identified (for example, ear tags, tattoos) whenever possible. Create a file with all animal identification and ownership records.
  • Create an emergency contact list. Include neighbours, animal handlers/transporters, veterinarians and feed suppliers. Post in each building.
  • Store all records (animal ID, contact lists and site map) onsite, offsite and digitally.
  • Work with your local Director of Emergency Management to learn what type of help will be available.
Traceability protects! Register your livestock and poultry with Alberta Agriculture’s Traceability program to help local authorities protect your animals during an emergency.

Know when to stay or go

For your safety, authorities may direct you to shelter in place or evacuate. It is important to follow all directions and to stay informed as the situation and directions can change quickly.

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