If your property is under a mandatory or advisory evacuation order, and you need to have your horses evacuated call Santa Cruz County Animal Services: 454-7200 #1. If they are not available call 911 to activate our unit.
Be PREPARED! Have an established evacuation plan in place. Make arrangements with a friend who lives at least several miles from you to come and get your large animals if you do not have a trailer, or can not get to your home. Always take as many animals as you can with you when you evacuate.
Have defensible space around your strutures, including paddocks and outbuildings.
We can not guarantee that we can evacuate your animals. We are allowed onto the fire zone at the discretion of Fire and Law Enforcement. Animals must be able to be loaded into a trailer within a reasonable time period, so training your horses to load into a trailer is very important.
In an emergency:
We cannot dispatch trailers or individuals who are not Santa Cruz County Equine Evacuation Units DSW's. We appreciate your wanting to help, but we have sufficient resources and can not accept the services of unauthorized volunteers for liability reasons.
If you wish to help with animal care, please contact Santa Cruz County Animal Services. We have sufficient trailer resources to make evacuations. We do not board animals on private property. We can olny take evacuated horses to our established holding areas. We can only evacuate animals that are in established mandatory or advisory evacuation areas. If a friend evacuates your property, you can have the animals taken to our established holding areas if you are in an established mandatory or advisory evacuation area.
We are only able to accept donations of Grass Hay, Shavings, and money (please make checks payable to Santa Cruz Co. Equine Evac and can be dropped in the maibox at the SC. Co. Horsemen's Assocation on Graham Hills Rd. or Animal Services - donations are unfortunately not tax deductable).
Other local County Large Animal Evacuation units are listed under Related Web Pages
During the Summit, Martin and Trabing fires in 2008, our Equine Evacuation
Unit evacuated over 500 horses and many other animals and livestock.
Only about 20 horses had to be evacuated by our organization during the
Lockheed fire in 2009, because our community was much better prepared
and had made plans for their animals in case of a disaster.
180—Registered OES Trained Disaster Workers with horse trailers and trucks available for emergency use when activated by the County Office of Emergency Services
35— Amateur Radio Evac Members (Hams)
All Disaster Workers have received Office of Emergency Services Training regarding SEMS-Standardized Emergency Management System and ICS-Incident Command System. Evac members have attended workshops on loading unwilling horses, trailer safety and maintenance and had opportunity to have a free trailer inspection by a local trailer repair expert. Additional trainings have been provided in the past that covered emergency first aid for horses and tips on what to do if the vet can’t get there.
Trailer Team Leaders meet periodically to plan strategies. They keep in regular touch with their team members.
We have been activated for two flooding situations and four fires. During our largest single activation we successfully evacuated over 240 horses in approx. 8 hours during the Summit Fire in May 2008.
The Emergency Services Manager, Rosemary Anderson (454-2715), will authorize call outs for any size emergency in which we are required. If you can not reach her call 911. Clearance must be made through her office. Trailer team members can chose NOT to be involved with every emergency.
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