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Horses and Tornadoes

Horses and Tornadoes

Tornado by airwaves1

In the last two years we’ve experienced several violent spring storms come through east Tennessee and are starting to refer to spring as “tornado season.” We’re looking forward to the end of winter but not to the scary part of spring. It’s bad enough to not know when and if a tornado is coming but having horses makes it worse because they could be far out in pasture, they aren’t easy to move quickly and they don’t fit in the basement or the bathtub.

There were 936 tornadoes in the U.S. in 2012, according to NOAA/National Weather Service. And while some areas are at much higher average risk, all states are at risk. This map is a little old (1950-2005) but gives a quick visual idea of where tornadoes can occur.

US Tornadoes 1950-2005 map

So what should we do with our horses during a tornado threat?

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Storms and Tornadoes

Storms and Tornadoes

Old damaged barn
Photo by Richard Burlton on Unsplash

Our condolences to those who lost loved ones, pets and property in the violent storms that rolled across the south in the past 24 hours. MSNBC is reporting 52 people confirmed killed as a result of the storm. I was looking at the photos of the wreckage in Tennessee a few minutes ago and noticed a photo of two people hugging next to destroyed property. A few feet away sits what looks like a saddle. It reminded me that storms like this can happen almost anywhere in the country. If a tornado hit, what would you do? There is very little any of us could do because there isn’t much time to react, if any. Seek shelter. But what about the horses? Sadly, I think there is little to nothing we could do to prepare our horses for tornadoes. I once saw a show on the Discovery Channel (about peculiar homes) where a couple had their barn underground. Maybe that would help but who can do that really?

I suppose the best we can learn from this is to be prepared. Think of options in advance. Where would you go, where would you take your horses if your barn was destroyed, what would you do it your fence was down and your horses got out, etc. And perhaps have supplies in stock to help others if a storm spares you but not your neighbors.

By the way, we’re in far east Tennessee and best I can tell the majority of in-state damage was in the far west section of the state. Thanks to those of you who contacted us for a welfare check, though.

Note: the photo above is Richard Burton on photo site Unsplash and is not directly related to this particular storm.