Horse Emergency Evacuation Planning

The Livestock and Equestrian Heritage Committee encourages all barn owners, horse owners, and barn managers / trainers to prepare and plan for wildfire and emergency evacuations. Please review these guidelines below and have your plan in place.

  1. Sign up for San Mateo County Alerts (SMC Alert website) and review the San Mateo Large Animal Evacuation Group website for emergency preparedness alerts notifications. Do not wait for an evacuation order; get prepared now.
  2. If you receive an Evacuation Warning and cannot evacuate your large animals, call 911 and request the assistance of the San Mateo County Large Animal Evacuation Group.
  3. Make sure each horse has identification. Microchipping and tags that have your name, address and phone number are highly recommended. Also copies of ownership papers.
  4. Keep a leather halter and cotton lead rope directly outside your horses' stalls or paddocks. Do not keep nylon materials for emergency use; they can melt in high temperatures.
  5. Keep Grab-and-Go documentation visible in a water-proof envelope. Include details on feed, supplements, medications with dosing information, and health issues and should be seen and reached easily. Include horses' Coggins tests, vaccinations / veterinary papers, identification photographs with distinctive markings and any other vital information.
  6. Keep a Horse First Aid Kit handy. It should include electrolytes, Banamine, wound care, and feed you can mix with water in case your horse refuses to drink. This will help to minimize the risk of dehydration or colic.
  7. Bring at least a 4-7 day supply of hay and supplements with you and have at least 2 gallons of water per horse and water buckets in your trailer.
  8. Keep a Go-Bag with items such as fly spray, fly mask, horse blanket and shipping boots or wraps.
  9. Train your horse before the emergency to calmly load in a trailer. Make advance arrangements to have enough trailer space for all your animals, or to have a friend or hauler in mind to trailer your horse and any other livestock to safety.
  10. Make sure your equipment is in good working condition. Your trailer should be serviced regularly and tires and brakes should be checked each year.
  11. Plan your evacuation route. Team up with friends and neighbors to prearrange a place to relocate your horses out of Woodside.
  12. Post your plan in your barn and discuss with all concerned. Place in your barn or tack room along with your own emergency notes for evacuation procedures along with contact information of all horse owners.

During an emergency, the time you have to evacuate is limited. Remain calm and never free your horse to fend for itself. Make sure you are prepared so you can act quickly. With an effective plan in place, you will be able to efficiently move your horses to safety.

Additional information will be provided by the Town of Woodside's Livestock and Equestrian Heritage Committee in the coming months. Meantime, WHOA! has a supply of green reflective horse signs that identify properties that house horses. The signs are available to all in the Woodside Fire Protection District with horses on their property. Please visit the WHOA! website to get a sign to display at the entrance to your property arrange to pick up a sign at Woodside Town Hall.