Emergency Preparation & Response
TAHC and USDA plan, collaborate, and coordinate with the states’ animal health-related agencies, agriculture industries, and other related agencies and parties. TAHC and USDA work to prevent and respond to foreign animal disease outbreaks, dangerous parasite or pest infestations, and bioterrorism. The agencies are ready to assist in response and recovery during natural or man-made catastrophes, including fires, floods, and hurricanes, in accordance with the FEMA Emergency Response Plan and/or the State of Texas Emergency plan in the following areas: Animal ownership identification, livestock restraint/capture, carcass disposal, coordinating livestock evacuation, consulting on animal health and public health concerns, and chemical/biological terrorism issues
Flooding: Tropical Storm Imelda
Tropical storms can cause flooding with little or no warning. Severe weather has the potential to cause catastrophic loss of life and property, financial, and environment damage to local communities. Animals may be displaced and need temporary sheltering, housing feeding, and care. They may also be injured or diseased and need veterinary attention. Prepare and respond now to protect your livestock and pets during flooding.
After a Flood
- Survey damage to your barns and fences. If you observe down fences along roadways, contact your local sherriff's department.
- Examine your animals closely; contact your veterinarian if you observe injuries or signs of illness.
- Return animals only after the threat has passed and the safety of buildings or the area has been assessed.
- Provide non-contaminated feed or water.
Lost or Found Livestock
- If cattle have strayed onto your property, call the sheriff's office in the county you are located within. Note: In order to be eligible for reasonable payment for maintenance of or damages caused by the estray livestock, you must report them to the sheriff's office within five days of discovery. For more information regarding Texas' estray laws visit: Texas Agriculture Code, Chapter 142.
- If you find cattle or other livestock with official identification, document the number, location of the animal(s), and call the TAHC at 512-719-0733 or 806-354-9335 and TAHC will contact the owner. If you find stray cattle that have a brand, call Texas Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) at 817-332-7064 for brand identification.
As the Tropical Storm Imelda response efforts transition to recovery efforts, Texans may face the challenge of animal disposal. Please use the following resources to guide you during this recovery phase.
Animal Carcasses in Public Areas (including residential): Animal carcasses found in public areas or rights-of-way should be reported to the local county Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to be handled through the jurisdiction’s debris management plan. You can find your county’s EOC information at http://www.tdms.org/county.aspx or on your county’s website.
Carcasses on private property, non-residential areas: Animal owners and operators are responsible for the proper disposal of their animals. To learn about common methods of non-diseased animal carcass disposal visit Disaster-Related Carcass Disposal Guide. or visit the Texas Commission Environmental Quality’s website at www.tceq.texas.gov.
If you find a stray animal carcass on your property, contact your local EOC. You can find your county’s EOC information at http://www.tdms.org/county.aspx.
The State of Texas is asking volunteers to not self-deploy, as unexpectedly showing up to any of the communities that have been impacted by Tropical Storm Imelda will create an additional burden for first responders.
- USGS Texas Water Levels
- Texas Highway Conditions
- National Hurricane Center
Winter Storms: How You Can Prepare
Winter storms and cold weather can impact animal health as well as human health. Winter storms can be stressful to livestock. Wind chills and prolonged cold increases their need for shelter, food and water. Prepare now to protect your livestock and pets during winter storms.
- Winter Storms and Your Livestock
- Winter Storms and Your Pets
- Winter Storms: Farm and Ranch Information
Extreme Heat: How You Can Prepare
The Texas summers can get hot and with proper preparation your animals can keep cool and hydrated during the summer months.
Tornadoes: How You Can Prepare
Tornadoes can occur anywhere with little or no warning. Severe weather has the potential to cause catastrophic loss of life and property, financial, and environment damage to local communities. Animals may be displaced and need temporary sheltering, housing feeding, and care. They may also be injured or diseased and need veterinary attention. Prepare now to protect your livestock and pets during severe weather.
Wildfires: How You Can Prepare
Wildfires affect America’s farms and ranches, damaging and destroying homes, barns, agriculture production facilities, and livestock. Much of this damage can be minimized, if a few precautions are taken to minimize the risk and spread of wildfires.Prepare now to protect your livestock and pets during a wildfire.
Emergency Management Training
- FEMA: Beginning Incident Command System Courses such as ICS 100, 200, 700 (NIMS), or 800
- Preparing Texas: Texas Division of Emergency Management
- To enroll in advanced Incident Command System trainings such as ICS 300 or 400, or to locate other emergency management related trainings, visit the Texas Emergency Management website.