Emergency Evacuation Site
William C. Chamberlin Equestrian Center is the Emergency evacuation point for horses and livestock in the Anchorage area. This page is designed so that Anchorage owners know what to do and how to be prepared in a natural disaster and evacuation situation.
During these situations the owner is responsible for horses and livestock. The Municipality of Anchorage and State of AK do not have sheltering programs in place as they do for small pets such as cats and dogs.
For evacuation of your animals, family, and other valuables to be a success, you and your family should also be prepared. Check out Municipality of Anchorage Office of Emergency Management's Facebook page and website for more information on how to prepare yourself and family.
Here are some steps to take before hand to be prepared for when an emergency or evacuation does happen.
PREPARATION Step 1: paperwork
Have copies of all information stored in a binder or folder for quickly accessibility. The binder should then be stored in a location such as a trailer or animal transport vehicle. Each horse and animal should have each of the things listed below.
Inside your binder should be:
- Owner's name and copy of ID
- Owner's phone number as well as two alternative phone numbers
- Horses EIA
- Pictures from different angles,
- If they have a brand it should be visible in photos
- Spare animal ID tag
- Veterinary records, especally vacinations
- WCCEC intake form which includes
- diet (hay type, etc.)
- Consent to feed in owner's absence
- Veterinary contact information
Print off the Centers full intake form Here
If you do not have a trailer of your own and can not immediately think of someone who can transport your horse at a moments notice you will need to take additional steps.
- If you board at a facility where others have trailers, ask management if a list can be created of contacts and people who are willing and able to transport other horses in an emergency.
- If you have horses and livestock on your own property, reach out to others in the horse community who live near and far from your location to ensure that you have a ride even if your neighbors don't have room.
- We, The Anchorage Horse Council, will be compiling a list of those who are willing to transport in times of emergency. This is still in progress.
PREPARATION step 2: Identification
All animals need ID tags on halters or collars. These ID tags should have the animal's name, the owner's name and contact phone numbers. In order to be at an evacuation site, all animals must have a halter, collar, or means of leading and control.
An ID tag can be anything from an engraved metal tag to a plastic luggage tag.
Often in emergencies ID tags are braided into horses manes and tails incase they break their halter.
An ID tag will help your animal be returned to you if you get separated. If your animal is microchipped they should still have an ID tag, a scanner is not always available.
PREPARATION Step 3: Travel
Questions to ask yourself:
Can your horse or animal be loaded into a trailer quickly? Or by a neighbor or even a stranger?
Can they walk or be ridden safely along a road side with traffic? What if you had to ride to safety?
Is your trailer accessible year round? Do you have safe routes to leave with horses during snow and ice?
Does your horse have ice shoes or boots with cleats to get out of their pens or walk a distance in the winter?
These are all things that can be practiced before hand to make an evacuation happen quickly.
Practice trailer loading and time yourself, set time limit goals you can improve upon. Spend time desensitizing your horse to cars and loud noises.
PREPARATION STEP 4: Supplies
Below is a list of things that should be easily accessible at a moment's notice or be stored in your trailer already.
- First Aid Kit: You can research a kit that best suits your needs or what you think you will need in an emergency, but at minimum it should include:
- Medications the animal(s) is currently taking or may need
- Duct tape, gauze, cotton roll, Multi-tool, hoof pick, safety scissors, wound gel, antiseptic, stethoscope
- epsom salts, thermometer, iodine, rubber gloves, flashlight, bucket or small container, permanent marker
- All of this should be in a portable container or bag that is clearly marked for first aid
- The list in the picture above is an excellent place to start for you and your animals
- Food for each animal for at least three days, if not more
- Water for at least a day for each animal if not more
- A bucket for water and/or food for each animal
In the Event of An Emergency Evacuation...
The Anchorage and Hillside evacuation plan is in the works with the Municipalities Office of Emergency Services, Anchorage Animal Care and Control, France Equestrian Center, and local and state veterinarians. If you would like to be a part of planning or be kept up to date, you can email us at email@example.com, or subscribe to our emails we put out each month here.
If an evacuation happened today:
The William C Chamberlin Equestrian Center will take evacuees as long as it is safe to do so. This includes horses and livestock, such as cows, llamas, goats, etc. If the horses and livestock at the Center can no longer be house there due to impending disaster, such as fire, the next current evacuation site is the France Equestrian Center at the Palmer Fairgrounds.
In some emergency situations you will be asked to stay put if you are not in danger. This would happen is cases such as an earthquake were the roads are too damaged for travel but your home is still structurally safe. These situations would be determined by emergency personnel such as Anchorage Office of Emergency Management or Anchorage Police. You can sign up for notifications from these agencies through nixle here, Anchorage's text and email based information service.
In these situations the Equestrian Center would take animals only on an as needed basis. The owner would still be responsible for them.
For stay put situations you could be asked to stay at your home from a few hours to a few weeks. It is important to prepare yourself, family, and animals for this possibility. This includes having enough food, water, heat/shelter for your family and animals for at least two weeks in any weather.
This could also mean if your horse is boarded at a facility away from your property you may not be able to check on them for some time. Ask your barn manager if they have an emergency plan. Is there always someone on the premises that can feed, water, and do wellness checks? How long can the facility operate without new shipments of feed? These are all important things to keep in mind when planning.
In instances such as an earthquake the roads could be too damaged to travel, the Knik river bridge could go down or the Seward Highway could be blocked, the port of Anchorage could be damaged. It is important to understand that rescue may not come quickly, and to be prepared for your family as well as your animals.
Below are some articles we have gathered to help with the planning process, or shed some light on why things are done the way they are during evacuations and emergencies. New ones will be added, so check back for updates. If you have suggestions, articles that you found helpful, or some Alaskan emergency experience you would like to share, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CDC Preparedness guide - https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/index.html - posted 8/8/17
Ralphs Responders kits - http://lsart.org/ralphs-responders.pml - posted 8/8/17
SC Department of Agriculture Horse Disaster Plan - https://clemson.app.box.com/s/z5qfcqj2jst7kyrwiiqcr2vo8yin5zok - posted 9/2/17
University of Minnesota Extention - https://www.extension.umn.edu/agriculture/horse/care/barn-disaster-planning/ -posted 9/7/17
Stable Management - https://stablemanagement.com/articles/create-master-plan-equine-facility-4182 - posted 9/7/17
UC Davis - http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/ceh/local_resources/pdfs/HRFall2014-EEPPosterPRINT.pdf - posted 9/7/17
Colorado State Wildfire plan - http://extension.colostate.edu/docs/pubs/livestk/01817.pdf - posted 9/7/17