Prepare for Tropical System Harvey

As Louisiana farmers are working hard to harvest their crops, there’s a tropical depression on their minds. Harvey is working its way through the Gulf of Mexico towards Texas. Today, LSU AgCenter Climatologist and WAFB Chief Meteorologist, Jay Grymes, visited and gave us the most recent update he has on this storm.

BATON ROUGE -- Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., said livestock and pet owners in southwest Louisiana should be ready in the event a tropical system in the gulf causes flooding. 

“While this storm is projected to make landfall in Texas, it will be a large and slow moving system that can produce storm surge and excessive rainfall in parts of Louisiana,” said Strain. “This is a good time to be ready to move large animals out of harm’s way, if necessary.” 

Right now, most of the state is expected to get rain, but southwest Louisiana is the most at-risk. While evacuations are not being called at this time, it’s important that livestock owners who plan to evacuate with a trailer of animals to leave as early as possible. During evacuations, it is not unusual for routes to close to trailer and towing traffic. Strain also said to be mindful of the heat in the event you’re stuck in traffic. “Those conditions can add a lot of stress to your animals – both livestock and pets.”   

In the event evacuations are advised, know where you’re going ahead of time with your animals. It’s important to make arrangements ahead of time.   

Tips on preparing livestock trailers:

·  Check tire pressure and rubber for wear

·  Test brake and running lights

·  Inspect the overall condition of the trailer 

Important items to take:

                · Health records (especially proof of EIA testing for horses)

                · Food and water

                · Special medications

               · Bridles or leads 

Proper identification for livestock is crucial in the event of comingling. 

Livestock owners who need assistance should call their local Office of Emergency Preparedness (OEP). 

For more information on emergency preparation for livestock, go to www.LDAF.la.gov or www.geta gameplan.org.