Most emergency sites give you plenty of data for your human family which should be headed. But very few cover additional information for those with farm stock. As we are preparing for the severe wind and rain leftovers of a typhoon riding the jet stream to us from Asia; many additional preparations have had to be addressed. I'll share some of those with you here. By the way- a good link for the human side of things is :
For the last three days we have been rechecking fencelines, weighing down metal roofing and siding products, filling every stock tank we own to capacity which gives us enough water for about a week for our stock, raising the stall levels on our new barn to decrease the chance of water getting into the stalls, retarping and tying our temporary shelters as not all of our stock is in the barn, moving some small stock (our bucks and bucklings) into our stock trailers which will protect them from any branches (we are not expecting lightning, in which case the trailers wouldn't be a safe choice). We're also stocked up with cured wood at the house for our woodstove for cooking and warmth and our generator is ready to go including extra fuel for it for use in the house or with our milking equipment if needed.
We've also had to add additional t posts to temporary shelter sides and put additional ties in them to hold them strongly to the ground. The barn yard has been picked up from anything loose that could fly around including plastics left over from barn construction to prevent any animal from getting into contact with them and consuming them.
We are also in the process of retopping a few trees that are weak and a hazard of coming down onto farm buildings. Those happen to be some shallow rooted pine trees that were topped by a previous owner probably ten or more years ago. Our longterm plan for those is to remove them after we have other trees (deep rooted fir and cedar which can handle winds much better) as well as planting them several trees thick instead of the single tree line that takes the full brunt of weather from the north. Then those pretopped weakened pines will come down. We also have other tree lines planned to help cut wind action on our farm. Your county conservation district is a great resource for inexpensive trees. Fall is the time to get on the email or other contact lists as many have plant sales in the winter where one can buy bundles of 15 to 25 of trees and shrubs native to your area. This is where most of my western red cedar and douglas fir will come from, as well as wild crabapples, service berry, oso berry, etc.
Though I'm not expecting us to be without power for more than a day here, it is possible. We live at the 'end of the world' in the country (look up Sequim, WA for fun if you like), if bridges are damaged along an approximately two hour driving route or mudslides block roads along Hood Canal and some of the Pacific coast roads are damaged then we can get landlocked in. So besides making sure we have extra grain and hay on hand, water becomes very important. How much water do you need:
Though emergency sites want you to plan for three days, if you are rural you should plan for longer. At least a week for your human and critter supplies. This is for MODERATE weather. For weather warmer than seventy degrees additional water will be needed. Mini stock such as cattle etc can be figured as a percent of standard sized stock. Ie: if your mini beef cow weights 40% of it's standard component than multiply 40% by the daily water requirment for the standard animal to get their requirement.
Dogs and cat's: Plan for 1/2 quart (1 pound) of water PER TEN POUNDS of animal PER DAY. So a 60 pound dog is going to need 3 quarts of water. If it's a working dog, such as a guardian dog, then a 100 pound dog (some guardians are larger) is going to need about 25% more water so plan for 12.5 pounds of water, which is just over 1 1/2 gallons per day. So 1 pound of water per ten pounds, but a working dog should have at least 1.25 lbs per ten pounds of dog.
Horses/Mules: Plan for 5 to ten gallons per day depending on the size of your animal. Note that Warmbloods & large draft may need even more.
Donkey's: Six gallons per day.
Dairy Cows: Thirty to fifty gallons per day.
Beef Cows: Five to seven gallons per day.
Camelids: Two to five gallons per day (the upper end is for 70 degrees and warmer weather).
Sheep/Meat Goats: One to two gallons per day.
Dairy Goats/Dairy Sheep: One to two gallons PLUS what they are milking. If a goat is milking 12# per day (1 1/2 gallons) then she will need 2 +1.5 gallons = 3.5 gallons per day per milker. It's always better to save more water than you find you will need!
Pigs: One to two gallons per day. Remember that lactating sow will need more for her milk production!
Ratites: Three to Five gallons per bird per day.
Poultry: A laying hen will need one pound (1/2 quart or one pint) per day. Your ducks will also need water for a couple of hours every day to be able to work their oil glands to stay waterproof.
Because we have a clean metal roof on our barn (no bird poop on it) we are also able to rainbarrel from our gutters into our tanks if we need to. Ideally you want the first rains of the year to have already hit to clean dust and other foreign material off of your roof as well as to clean the air of any contaminants before you rainbarrel. A great device for this that you can install into your existing metal down spouts is called a downspout diverter. If you hook it up to a livestock tank float valve then it will shut off whenver your tank is full and redivert the water back through your downspout to the ground / drywell.
First Aid kit. Things I absolutely keep on hand are:
materials for splinting (paint stir sticks for small legs, house wood trim for larger legs).
cayenne tincture for shock, hypothermia or bleeding
cayenne powder to pour onto wounds or give internally for bleeding, shock.
HerBamine extract for pain/inflammation
Wounderful! salve for injuries or burns of any kind
GI Soother in case your animals get dirty or polluted water into their mouths.
HerBiotic salve for skin bacterial, fungal, yeast issues.
HerBiotic Herb mix for bacterial, fungal, viral, microbial (ie Giardia) issues.
Lung Support Tincture- for additional lung support from a weather event.
DWorm A- parasites often bloom after a water event (excessive rain or flooding)
And if you already don't have The Accessible Pet, Equine and Livestock Herbal- over 500 pages of herb and essential oil use it is excellent to have on hand- even if you would rather use a Vet or a medical clinic you may not have access to those during or after a weather event. This book may have to be relied on and yes- it can be used for humans!
Essential oils: Lemon, Lavender, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree .
All of these can be purchased at www.firmeadowllc.com .
Some emergencies (wildfire, hurricanes, etc) may require you to evacuate your premises. Have an evacuation plan in place AHEAD of needing to utilize it. When we lived in wildfire prone areas we had a group of friends that we could call on to help evacuate livestock to our fairgrounds (or other predetermined safe palce) if needed, and they could call on us. We also had a priority list of what would go first and what would go into what trailer and what rig would be haul which trailer. Please note that you can't wait until the final evacuation notice to do this. AT that point it's time to get out immediately and they won't let non residents into the area to help. So once you get put on notice that there is the possibility of evacuating stock needs to be moved to wait it out. Much better to be safe than sorry.
I hope that none of you ever have to use this information, but reality says that many live in areas prone to events. Thankfully for us this is a rare happening- once every 1 to 2 decades of this magnitude. We wish all of you safety, warmth and wellness for you and your creatures!
I used to have that problem too. Cold feet during chores or running errands is just plain miserable and does make one have to work harder at not being grumpy or short with others. Here are some ways to work with cold feet whether it's just plain cold outside, you have to sit for long periods of time where it's cold or you have poor circulation from diabetes, injuries or other causes.
One of the things I encourage people to take is cayenne. Cayenne will stimulate circulation and help heat your body's core. We even use it in situations such as hypothermia! Make sure you take it with plenty of food or liquid in your stomach as cayenne sitting on your stomach's lining won't hurt you, but it certainly does burn. Sometimes I drink some in a tall glass of water, often I take it as a capsule. We have both powder and herb capsule forms at 40,000 heat units on our website. There is no medicinal benefit of going hotter, so I keep the minimum heat unit needed on hand.
Ginger. Ginger tea, ginger root and ginger capsules (capsules and powder are on our site) also stimulates circulation. Try not to take any after late afternoon. Since it encourages circulation to the extremities including the brain, it can also make you more alert than you want to be at bedtime.
Those with an inactive thyroid may also experience cold feet and may get chilled faster than other people around them. Some may have average body temperatures even a degree below 'normal'. Besides some of these other suggestions in this article you may want to consider getting Herbal Thyroid capsules on this site. If you are on medication for thyroid then you also will need to have your levels monitored by your doctor within a week of starting these so that your medications can be adjusted as your thyroid receives the support it's been needing. I also recommend Vitalerbs capsules or herb powder as I've found most people with underactive thryoids are also mineral deficient. All of these products are available on our site under the human supplements pages.
Hats. Yes, keeping your head & ears covered can actually help you keep more heat in your body since about 90% of your heat loss goes right off the top of your head. Your feet are more likely to be warmer if your head is staying covered. Our alpaca hats are so soft that one can even sleep in them if that increases your comfort at night.
Socks. Since no one is currently farming and harvesting polar bear hair, which is the warmest natural fiber known, we offer Alpaca fiber socks. Alpaca is the second warmest natural fiber and of course is farmable and sustainable. It is also stronger than wool, lighter weight than wool, very soft and considered hypoallergenic as there is no lanolin content to alpaca. We offer alpaca blend socks which allows them to be machine washable and have an even longer life. They can even be worn to bed to help keep feet warm at night. They make a WONDERFUL gift to yourself or someone you love for those that like practical yet thoughtful gifts. We have several choices of alpaca products on this website and can special order in other items such as sweaters at request.
Wishing you a warm & cozy fall and winter!