2003 Cedar, Paradise, Otay FirestormLessons Learned • 10,000 acres per hour, 2.7 acres per second, 20 miles per hour (3 football fields per second) • 16 lives, 2430 structures, 376,237 acres, $654,000,000 in lost property value • Insufficient evacuation planning and communication • Preplan hazard areas, evac routes, and train to shelter in place • 70% under insured and not being rebuilt
EQUINE EVACUATION • This presentation is intended to assist horse owners and residents to help themselves and to help trained responders save life, property and animals. • It’s your responsibility to be familiar with safe evacuation procedures and to evacuate your animals EARLY.
LOS ANGELES COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF ANIMAL CARE & CONTROL VOLUNTEER EQUINE RESPONSE TEAM (LACDACCERT) The Equine Response Team is a group of qualified, trained, certified volunteers whose purpose is to augment department resources through the safe evacuation of livestock from areas imperiled by disaster or emergency under the authority of the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care & Control. The group also works to educate large animal owners on how to be prepared in case of an emergency.
LOS ANGELES COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF ANIMAL CARE & CONTROL VOLUNTEER EQUINE RESPONSE TEAM (LACDACCERT) • Formed in 1996 in Santa Monica Mountains • 122 Members based throughout LA County: Santa Monica Mountains; South Bay; Santa Clarita and Antelope Valley • Operates under the authority and direction of the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care & Control • Trained and certified to operate within County Operational Area with County disaster response units LACDACCERT Contact: Mary Lukins (818) 991-8065
County of Los AngelesFire Department • THEY have to stay. • YOU don’t. • Preparedness is the key.
EQUINE EVACUATION • When disaster strikes, it is usually without warning. • Mobilization of the forces required to respond to a disaster must happen quickly. Preparedness is KEY!!
EQUINE EVACUATIONDecisions must be made: • The Los Angeles County Fire Department Incident Management Teams strategically deploy resources and immediately initiate appropriate evacuation procedures.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department must notify residents in immediate danger, alert them of the need to determine a safe exit, assist them in doing so, and decide what traffic controls to initiate to keep roads accessible. The California Highway Patrol will ensure that emergency response vehicles can safely deploy and citizens can safely exit the area as requested by the Sheriff’s Dept. EQUINE EVACUATIONDecisions must be made:
The Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care & Control will be informed of areas presenting the greatest threat and alert its Equine Response Teams to begin strategic evacuation for horses and animals in the immediate vicinity of the emergency. Local animal owners must mobilize and activate their own and/or neighborhood evacuation plans EARLY during the “voluntary evacuation” stage. EQUINE EVACUATIONDecisions must be made:
EQUINE EVACUATIONDecisions must be made: • Your decision on when to leave is critical. • Time spent on home preparation ahead of a wildland fire or disaster is critical to reduce loss of property and life. • Every fire is different!
EQUINE EVACUATIONDecisions must be made: • If and when an evacuation is ordered, the Fire and Sheriff’s Departments’ desire is for residents to leave immediately. • Your life/safety is the primary goal. • Quick compliance to an evacuation order is critical!
EVACUATION PLANDo you have one? • Emergency preparedness must be a priority for everyone that lives or works in a wildland interface area. Don’t rely only on authorities. Safe evacuation of your family and animals is your responsibility first. • A major part of your preparedness is to develop a logical, well thought out and executed evacuation plan. Discuss the plan with family and neighbors, and PRACTICE it.
Identification of at least two (2) exit routes and a prearranged destination. Access to well maintained trailers, barns and stalls. Post critical numbers and emergency contact info at barns and have evacuation authority agreements with neighbors. Prepare identification for horses (photos, papers). Tag horses prior to evacuation and keep ID info with you so you can recover animals. Train yourself and your horses to load and offload. Prepare emergency supplies, food and water for 72 hours. Equine Disaster Preparedness Kit including: portable radio, cell phone/charger, flashlights, batteries, portable generator, water buckets, stored feed and meds, leads, halters, shanks, leg wraps, blanket or sheet, hoof pick, tarps, shovel, sharp knife, wire cutters, water hose, soap, basic equine first aid kit. EVACUATION PLANDo you have one?A good equine evacuation plan includes the following:
EVACUATION PLANPreparation Ahead of the Fire • Unlock barn, stall and gates. • Prepare and position trailer and vehicle. • Back your car in the garage heading out (windows closed and keys in the ignition). • Close the garage door and leave it unlocked. Disconnect the automatic garage door opener in the case of power failure.
Place important documents, photo albums, animal identification and other valuables inside your car or tow vehicle in advance in case you have to evacuate. Have small animal carriers with adequate ventilation and water available. Keep a flashlight and portable radio with you at all times and stay tuned to your local news station. EVACUATION PLANPreparation Ahead of the Fire
EVACUATION ROUTES & ASSEMBLY POINTS • Work out evacuation routes and assembly points with family and neighbors, and PRACTICE. • In the event of a major wildfire in the Santa Clarita area, no location is completely safe. It is best to remove horses from the area to avoid repeated evacuations. • Total evacuation may be impossible in many areas as narrow roads and limited access restrict traffic exiting and emergency equipment entering. GO EARLY !!
SHELTERING SITES • The Fire Department, Sheriff’s Department, Animal Care & Control and news media will advise area residents of sheltering sites. • Be aware that no location within the evacuation area during a wind-driven fire is completely safe. Select destinations that avoid repeated evacuation.
EQUINE EVACUATION • PLAN • PREPARE • PRACTICE • GO EARLY (Voluntary evacuation)
IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO EVACUATE WHEN A FIRE APPROACHES • Stay inside your house away from outside walls and windows. • Keep all doors closed but unlocked, windows closed and air conditioning off. • Shelter horses in place (Barns, paddocks, outside stalls, etc). Keep small animals inside.
Keep your entire family together and REMAIN CALM. Remember if it gets hot in the house, it is four to five times hotter and more dangerous outside. Be aware that fire IS UNPREDICTABLE and can turn back on itself. AFTER THE FIRE PASSES Check the exterior and roof of home and barn immediately, extinguish all sparks and embers. If you must climb on the roof, use caution. Check inside the attic for hidden burning embers. Check your yard for burning woodpiles, trees, fence posts or other materials. Have horses vet checked as soon as possible. (Smoke damage, stress, colic.) IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO EVACUATE WHEN A FIRE APPROACHES
DURING EVACUATION • Don’t turn horses or large animals out. • Horses tend to run back into a barn… even a burning barn. • Fleeing animals may impede emergency response vehicles.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ANIMAL RELATED DISASTER PLANNING Contact the following web sites: www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/ceh (Horse Report, April 2004) www.hsus.org “Disaster Preparedness, Horse Evacuation” www.etinational.com/docsandforms.html “What Do I Do With My Horse in Fire, Flood or Earthquake” Contact Mary Lukins, Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control at 818 991 8065 or your nearest LACDACC Animal Shelter
LACDACC Equine Response Team Training Program • Completion of LA County Dept of Animal Care & Control ERT and State Disaster Worker applications • Three Levels of certification requiring a total of 40 hours of training • Level One: Communications and Documentation • Level Two: Shelter Site operations • Level Three: Trailer Teams and Core Team management • 49 hours of specialty training and drills
LACDACC Equine Response Team Training Program Level One (10 hours) • Orientation (2) • Documentation/Identification Standards (2) • Incident Command System (2) • Fire Safety (2) • Disaster Psychology (2)
LACDACC Equine Response Team Training Program • Level Two (18 hours) • Completion of Level One • First Aid & CPR (6) • Equine First Aid (3) • Horse Behavior/Psychology (3) • Horse Handling and Control (4) • Radio Operations (2)
LACDACC Equine Response Team Training Program • Level Three (12 hours) • Completion of Levels 1 & 2 • Trailer Loading Technique (6) • Wildfire Scenarios and Fire Safety Field Class (6)
LACDACC Equine Response Team Training Program • Specialty Classes (49 hours) • LASD EVOC Towed Vehicle Handling (8) • Incident Management Team (10) • Amateur Radio Licensing (8) • Amateur Radio Operations (3) • Training Drills (16) • Sheltering Management (4)