Martok
May 30, 2011
Martok goat
Photo by Sue Weaver
You can see the pin for our Port-a-Hut. Thank goodness we won’t blow away!

The past few weeks have been scary for me and Uzzi. We’ve had storm after scary storm! Uzzi hates thunder, so we cuddle in our Port-a-Hut while it booms across the sky. But our Port-a-Hut is firmly pinned to the ground so we’re safe.

That is, unless a tornado roars through. There was one just north of us a few nights ago. According to WLKY-TV News in Louisville, Ky., there have been nearly 1,200 tornadoes in the United States already this year and close to 500 people killed—that’s more than 9 times the national average. 

Tornadoes are violently rotating columns of air extending from a thunderstorm to the ground. They occur mainly during the spring and summer months, most frequently east of the Rocky Mountains. Did you know that tornadoes are most likely to occur between 3 and 9 p.m., but have been known to occur at all hours of the day or night? Or that the average tornado moves from southwest to northeast, but tornadoes have been known to move in any direction? 

Are you and your pets and livestock are prepared for tornado season? If you don’t already have a disaster-preparedness plan, including what to do if there’s a tornado, make one now.

Assess the stability of your barns and other structures; unless they’re sturdy, your animals may be safer loose outside. Remove objects from your barnyard and pastures that might become flying debris. If you use movable housing like Port-a-Huts or chicken tractors during tornado season, fasten them down.

To keep your animals safe during storms and disasters, identify your pets and livestock. (Our dogs have collars with nameplates riveted to them; we goats have tattoos in our ears.) And keep records where you can find your animals in a hurry. If you know a storm is coming and you have time, use livestock paint to spray paint your phone number on your horse or cow. 

We animals depend on you. Plan now to help keep us safe. We don’t want to be hurt or to blow away!

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