Spring Risk Mitigation on the Farm

Identify measures you can take to mitigate risk and ways to ensure you are prepared for a quick and effective response should a disaster or emergency strike.

High risk during spring

  • Flood or flash flood

  • Grass fires

  • Spring snowstorm

  • Building or structure collapse

  • Plow wind, hurricane, tornado

  • Thunderstorm – lightning strikes

  • Thin ice on dugout, slough or other water

Other risks

  • Disease outbreak

  • Drought

  • Hazardous material spill or release

  • Explosion

  • Building fire

  • Transportation incident

  • Building or structure collapse

  • Power outage

  • Water contamination

  • Uncared for or neglected domestic animals

  • Loose livestock

  • Ill or hungry wildlife

Response Preparation

  • Have fire extinguishers available and up to date in all barns and buildings.

  • Clear water should be accessible at all barns to allow for fighting fires.

  • Current animal inventory numbers.

  • Ensure animals have access to higher and/or open ground in case of high water or fire.

  • Test emergency generator if you have one.

  • Inspect and make any repairs to fences, gates and livestock trailers that may be needed.

  • Have temporary fencing or penning available and supplies to fix fence.

Risk Mitigation Checklist

  • Keep grass mowed around all buildings.

  • Inspect any fences for winter damage before putting animals out on pasture.

  • Make sure all gates are in good repair and functioning.

  • Limit any burning activity, including burn barrels to damp and windless days.

  • Cut down any at risk trees that died or became weakened over the winter.

  • Clean out all culverts to allow for unobstructed flow of water.

  • Monitor water levels around your farm and at nearby water sources.

  • Check all feed sources for mold and other damage.

  • Inspect all wiring in barns and remove dust and cobwebs from junction areas.

  • Clean any equipment or junk that can become flying projectiles.

  • Vaccinate all animals for disease prevention following veterinarian updates.

  • Clean out all barns, stalls, corrals, etc.

  • Ensure all hazardous material is properly stored.

  • Eliminate as many flammables as possible from area.

  • Hay, straw or manure piles may self-combust and cause a fire, never store close to structures or buildings.

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Please accept best wishes for a healthy and pleasant 2022 (and beyond) from myself, Directors and Consultants at the Horse Welfare Alliance of Canada (HWAC). Each of the Canadian livestock sectors hav