Protecting your home and horses from wildfires

Here is a partial reprint of an article from American Equine Insurance Group. It has good information on how to protect your home and horses before a wildfire (or other type of fire) threatens your property.

As wildfires get bigger, more frequent, and more destructive across California and elsewhere in the country, more property-owners need to think about mitigation and evacuation. It can be harder and more expensive to obtain property insurance, especially in the hard-hit Western states. Some of the same steps an insured can take to defend their home from wildfires can also increase its insurability. Here are examples:

  1. Use roofing material made from Class A-rated materials, which can include shingles, clay, concrete, or metal
  2. Keep gutters clean
  3. Wood stacks, propane tanks and any other flammable items are placed a safe distance from the structures
  4. Appropriate brush clearance around building and the use of fire-resistant landscaping
  5. Use mesh screens on vents, eaves and chimneys
  6. Installing dual- or triple-paned windows
  7. Having easy access to roads that are clear

Make sure you have evacuation plan for your equine business. One of the best ways to make a plan is to contact your local fire department which will have advice and resources to share. Some of the commonly recommended actions to keep horses safe:

• Use a livestock crayon to write your name, phone number and address on the horse
• With clippers shave your phone number into the horse’s coat
• Braid a temporary ID tag with pre-written contact info into the horse’s mane
• Attach a neck band with your contact information

Know where you can take your horses in the event of an emergency evacuation. If wildfires are coming close to your area, be prepared for supplies, medications, necessary tack and tools to get the horses moved.

Being prepared can help make a stressful situation calmer and more productive. Stay safe and alert … and follow directions of local officials in the event of any type of emergency.

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