Hurricane Evacuation Information for Louisiana Horse Owners

The Horseman's Guide of the South Central Region has joined efforts with the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, Office of Animal Health Studies, State Veterinarian's Office in compiling information for a evacuation site database specifically for horse owners of the coastal states (especially the New Orleans area) wishing to evacuate from Hurricane Katrina's path. Horse owners wishing to evacuate or provide evacuation facilities should contact the Horseman's Guide.

In most cases, horse owners are not aware that once a mandatory evacuation order has been issued, or the sustained winds reach 35 mph, horse trailers and commercial vehicles are discouraged in gaining access to the highways. This makes it imperative for a horse owner to evacuate earlier than most residents.

All horse owners or facilities wishing to be included in the database may log onto www.lahg.net or call the Horseman's Guide at 888/784-8760 to submit their information. Clubs, organizations, and publications are also encouraged to pass the information along to their members and readers. The Horseman's Guide web site also contains links and/or information for out-of-state facilities and individuals, useful information, checklists, and forms relating to horses and hurricanes. For more information contact Bonnie Clark at 888/784-8760 or via e-mail at bonnie@lahg.net.

During the threat posed by Hurricane Ivan in 2004, the Horseman's Guide and the Louisiana State Veterinarian's Office received calls and e-mails from individuals, farms, and arenas offering to provide shelter for those needing to evacuate their horses out of harm's way. There were also many volunteering to aid in relief efforts after the storm, if needed. This interest resulted in the creation of the new emergency information pages posted on the Horseman's Guide's web site at www.lahg.net. Guide publisher Bonnie Clark said, "The response from horse owners willing to help other horse owners was quite impressive. The enormous interest made it apparent that horse owners need a place to go for critical information and means of networking before, during, and after disasters."

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